Patro’s OT goal lifts No. 1 Garrison Forest past Notre Dame Prep in IAAM A field hockey final rematch (VIDEO HERE!)

Garrison Forest’s Ryleigh McComas (left) tries to past Notre Dame Prep’s Dora Garcia during Wednesday’s IAAM A Conference field hockey contest. The top-ranked Grizzlies got a goal from Riley Patro, 1 minute and 50 seconds into overtime to claim a 2-1 victory over the third-ranked Blazers in Owings Mills.

by Katherine Dunn

When Garrison Forest School’s field hockey game against Notre Dame Prep Wednesday went into overtime, the Grizzlies had a chance for a double shot of revenge.

The No. 1 Grizzlies set out from the start to avenge last season’s IAAM A Conference title-game loss to the Blazers, but their coach Malcolm Belin said the extra time also gave them a chance for “revenge against overtime” after suffering their first loss of the season to Greenwich Academy, Conn. in overtime Sunday.

It took less than two minutes of overtime for the host Grizzlies to extract their revenge against both foes.

Riley Patro finished off the game on a pass from the left side into the circle by Ella Kokinis to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 victory over No. 3 Notre Dame Prep and keep them unbeaten in the A Conference.

Kokinis “looked like she was driving the end line,” said Patro, a senior forward. “Then my defender stepped up and she flipped the ball to me. I stepped so that I beat the defender and I took it inside post.”

Only 1:50 had expired in sudden death. Patro said the Grizzlies (9-1 overall, 3-0 IAAM A) wanted to pressure the Blazers (4-3-1, 2-2 IAAM A) quickly after learning a lesson in the Sunday loss at the MAX Field Hockey National Invitational Tournament in Philadelphia.

“Right before we went into this overtime, coach Belin was like, ‘I want a goal in the first 30 seconds,’ because that’s kind of what we struggle with, coming out really strong. That was our problem this weekend. They came and attacked us,” Patro said.

Belin was please with how quickly the Grizzlies, No. 24 in the MAX Field Hockey National High School Rankings, responded Wednesday.

“In past years, when teams have tied up with us or gone one-up, we’ve kind of gotten in a little lull, but this year there’s a different sense of determination and now it’s like, ‘They scored on us, let’s see what we can do,’” said Belin, in his first season as Grizzlies head coach.

The Grizzlies got off to a quick start in the game as well,  pressuring early and scoring with 18:28 left in the first half. Dani Mendez scored off the Grizzlies’ second penalty corner. Ryleigh McComas’ corner hit traveled past the top of the circle where Mendez reeled it in, moved into the circle and fired past NDP goalie Brooke Borzymowski.

With about 7:30 left in the half, the Blazers bombarded Grizzlies goalie Alyssa Klebosko with three successive shots, but she stopped them all. At the 36-team MAX Field Hockey tournament, Klebosko was the only goalie and the only player from Maryland named to the all-tournament first team as the Grizzlies finished 2-1.

The Blazers also went to the MAX Field Hockey tournament where they finished 1-0-1 with a win over Sacred Heart Academy from Louisville, Kentucky, ranked No. 18 in the national poll.

After falling to No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, 4-1, last week, the two-time defending A Conference champion Blazers have showed the kind of improvement coach Katrina Ross said she’s looking for game to game with a young team.

They fought off two Garrison corners in the final 2:20 of the first half as Borzymowski made two saves.

With 7:42 to go in the second half, the Blazers finally broke through. Ella Colimore tied the game when she bounced the ball off her stick, at about chest level, and over Klebosko’s head. The play started with a pass into the circle from Meredith Medvetz and, in a crowd in front of the goal, the ball caromed to Colimore, who popped it high into the goal.

For Blazers junior Pyper Friedman, who played a stellar midfield game, losing such a close contest was tough, but it also showed that her team is still playing at a high level despite significant turnover from last season.

“I think that was a really evenly matched game,” said Friedman. “Obviously Garrison has a lot of skill, but I think we kind of matched up with them with our speed and it led to a really intense game. I think we’re honestly pretty happy with an overtime loss at their home field.”

The Blazers have now finished their first run through the A Conference while the Grizzlies have only Friday’s game against No. 7 McDonogh remaining. However with just four teams in the conference this season, each team plays the other four twice. The Blazers will have their chance to avenge Monday’s loss when they host the Grizzlies on Oct. 18.

The Grizzlies, who have outscored the opposition 36-9, are aiming for their first A Conference championship since 2012. They won five titles between 2007 and 2012.

No. 1 Garrison Forest School 2, No. 3 Notre Dame Prep 1, OT

Goals: NDP— Colimore; GF — Mendez, Patro.

Assists: NDP—Medvetz; GF—McComas, Kokinis.

Saves: NDP – Borzymowski 6; GF—Klebosko.

Notre Dame Prep 0  1  0 – 1

Garrison Forest.   1  0  1 – 2