Girls' Coach Of The Year: Alice Puckett

December 30, 1990

Name: Alice Puckett

School: Fallston High.

Age: 31.

Sport: Field hockey.

Accomplishments: Fallston's field hockey team did not have a single veteran field defender, but that drawback didn't stop Puckett from coaching the Cougars to the state Class 2A Championship -- the third straight title for the Cougars. Puckett, a Havre de Grace native and John Carroll graduate, has coached the Cougars to the state playoffs four times in her eight years at Fallston. She coached this year's county champions (12-3-1) to a particularly gratifying state semifinal against top-seeded Middletown, 2-1, in a shootout. Middletown had knocked Fallston out of the playoffs in 1986. In this year's championship, the Cougars beat James M. Bennett, 1-0.

Early in the season, despite the Cougars' status as two-time defending champs, Puckett had her work cut out for her. Only goalie Tammy Kloiber returned to the defense, and Puckett builds her teams from the defense up.

The Cougars never have been a high-scoring team, especially since Puckett tries to give everyone on her bench an opportunity to play. This creates a tremendous challenge for her. Puckett played four years of field hockey at Bridgewater College in Virginia, and brought the young Fallston defense along quickly. By the time they reached the regional and state playoffs, the Cougar defenders had become a tight unit with solid skills. In the title game against Bennett in November, the Cougars won the game by holding off a strong second-half surge. The Clippers dominated with seven corners and seven shots, but Puckett's Cougars wouldn't let them score.

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