John Carroll tops Bryn Mawr, completes run to IAAM B field hockey crown



by Katherine Dunn
During the regular season, John Carroll School field hockey did not score a single goal on any of the three teams they would meet in the IAAM B Conference tournament.
Last week, however, something clicked in the quarterfinal, coach Alice Puckett said, and the Patriots went on to outscore their tournament opponents by seven goals and avenge all three losses en route to the B Conference championship.
Jamie Alatzas and Emma Campitelli scored second-half goals to give the Patriots a 2-1 win over Bryn Mawr Schoolfor the title Sunday at Archbishop Spalding.
The Patriots (13-5 overall) were seeded fifth in the eight-team tournament after finishing with a 3-4 conference record. Wednesday, they turned a 1-0 overtime loss to Severn into a 4-0 win. Friday, they avenged a 2-0 loss to top-seeded Mount de Sales with a 3-1 semifinal victory.
“We have a lot of seniors on the team and we just had an incredible week,” Puckett said. “We have been underachieving all season. We have a very talented team and our record should be better. On Wednesday when we started our run at Severn, I said, ‘Girls, we have as much talent as any team we’ve played. It is the will to win. You’ve got to believe you can win,’ and we scored four goals that day. That just gave them that confidence they needed I guess.”
Against second-seeded Bryn Mawr (10-4-1), the Patriots needed a different approach. The Mawrtians, who won the regular-season game 2-0, took the lead midway through the first half, scoring on a three-on-one break.
John Carroll goalie Alexis Loder came out of the cage and dove to try to tackle the ball but couldn’t get it. Karoline Sevier got past Loder and scored the goal with 13:11 left in the half.
For the first time in the playoffs, the Patriots trailed.
They had a couple of penalty corners late in the half but couldn’t convert. Early in the second half, the Patriots earned another penalty corner and this time, junior forward Alatzas finished it off. Helen Butler sent the hit from the top into the circle where it ricocheted around and rolled across toward the left post where Alatzas popped it into the cage.
“When they answered back you could see that fire come back to them that I saw all week long,” Puckett said. “Then you’ve got to wonder: We played two hard games, what do we have left?”
Campitelli answered that question 10 minutes later, taking the ball from the midfield to the cage for a 2-1 lead with 17:28 left.
“I was at the 50 and I had a fast break, so I brought it down and shot it,” Campitelli said. “It all happened so fast.”
While the attack woke up during the playoffs, the Patriots needed their defense to seal the win.
Bryn Mawr had three penalty corners and pressed for a goal for most of the final 16 minutes.
Loder, who finished with five saves, stopped a shot in the final seconds after the Mawrtians earned a penalty corner with 15 seconds to go.
The senior goalie credited her entire corner unit, which has played together for three years, with keeping the Mawrtians out of the cage.
“At that point when time’s running out, the only goal we have is to get the ball out of the circle and the game’s over and we won,” Loder said.
“We all knew what we had to do and we just executed that really well. When they got a shot off, we were just calm and collected and we were able to clear that.”
The Mawrtians had hoped to bring home their first championship since they won the A Conference title in 2009.  Jeannette Budzik, who returned to coach Bryn Mawr’s varsity this fall for the first time in five years, guided them to five A Conference championships between 1999 and 2009.
“When we were first coming in, I knew we had a younger team and they didn’t have a lot of tournament experience and so it was just getting them mentally ready about what it is to compete and they really handled it beautifully. That’s why we’re here. They listened to what we said and they practiced hard and there was just a lot of maturity and growth as athletes which I think was one of the most impressive things and something I really appreciate about this team,” said Budzik, who had just four seniors on the roster.
The Patriots, who gave Puckett her 401st career win, send 11 seniors out with the championship.
“It’s indescribable,” Loder said of winning the title. “This team has become my family over the past four years. We spent so much time together. We have so many fun memories together and to be able to end it all with a win like this, it just means so much.”
IAAM B Conference Field Hockey Championship
at Archbishop Spalding
John Carroll School 2, Bryn Mawr School 1
John Carroll   0  2  —  2
Bryn Mawr       1  0  —  1
Goals: John Carroll — Jamie Alatzas, Emma Campitelli; Bryn Mawr — Karoline Sevier.
Assist: John Carroll — Helen Butler.
Saves: John Carroll — Alexis Loder 5; Bryn Mawr — Margaret McNeir 1.