Fallston's girls lacrosse team went into Friday's state quarterfinalgame remembering last year's 17-5 loss to Southern.
This year, the Cougars (13-0) were seeded No. 1 in Class 1A/2A, but they weren't taking their competition, No. 8 Hereford, for granted.
"Because of past years, coming into these final games, I don't think anyone takes any of these games lightly," said Cougar defender Nichole Clark. "The seeding matters in a way, but a lot of times, lower-seeded teams can beat the higher ones. We just came in real determined this year."
This time, the Cougars subjected Hereford (5-6) to their own brand of quarterfinal quick-fire, routing the Bulls, 25-4, at Harford Community College. The game saw Fallston's highest numberof goals of the season -- one goal for every two minutes of play. Eleven players on the 16-girl roster had at least one goal or assist.
Cindy Jenkins led the Cougars with seven goals, including the firstfour. After Jenkins scored the first in just 25 seconds, Hereford ame back within a minute to tie.
Then, Jenkins really went to work. The Bulls' defenders tried to cover Jenkins, a left-handed sophomore,as if she were right-handed. Jenkins easily found openings for threemore quick goals.
Elise Andrews (one goal, three assists) and Denise Sarver (three goals, one assist) added goals for a 5-1 lead, which Hereford then reduced to 5-3. But the Bulls never got closer. Fallston reeled off seven straight goals to end the half.
Junior attackwings Natalie Dwyer and Kendell Reichhart brought a new dimension tothe Cougars' attack, playing with new-found confidence. Dwyer, who has one of the strongest shots on the team, found a couple of nice angles en route to her three goals, while Reichhart had a goal and two assists.
Meghan Williams and Jenny Haslbeck also scored three goalseach. Cindy Hudson had two, and Clark and Laura Rocchio, just up from jayvee, added single goals. Assists came from Hudson, Clark and Kristina Lilley.
The Cougars played even better defensively. Led by Clark, with 12 ground balls, four knock-downs and three interceptions,Fallston's defense upset nearly everything the Bulls tried.
Goalie Tammy Kloiber (seven saves) wasn't kept busy since the Cougars outshot Hereford, 45-16, but point Jenny Colt turned in a nice defensive performance, as did Andrews and defense wings Hudson and Karen Battenfeld.
In Friday's other Class 1A/2A quarterfinal game, played justafter the Fallston victory, fifth-seeded Joppatowne lost, 20-19, to fourth-seeded Pikesville (6-4) in the final seconds of the game.
Pikesville's Jennifer Levi recovered a loose ball on defense and racedto the other end, scoring the winning goal on an underhand shot justbefore the whistle.
The Mariners (8-1), who never held a lead in the game, trailed, 19-14, with 6 minutes, 45 seconds left in the game. At the 4:50 mark, Joppatowne's Michele Zaledonis scored off an assist from Chrissy Fellona to close the gap, 19-15.
Zaledonis then went on to score two more unanswered goals, one off an assist from LisaAquino and one on a penalty shot. That brought the Mariners back, 19-17, with 1:33 remaining.
As Pikesville head coach Sue Schaeffer paced in front of her bench, urging her players to tighten up defense,Fellona scored two unassisted goals, one at 1:10 and one with 46 seconds left to tie the game, 19-19.
Joppatowne's bench came back to life, especially when the ensuing draw was recovered by the team and Zaledonis fired a shot that went wide right.
"We were outplayed," said 10-year Joppatowne head coach Pam Reich.
"We should have won the game," she said. "We had opportunities to win and didn't. They capitalized on our mistakes."
The Mariners trailed, 11-6, at the half and were outshot, 15-10, in the first half. The Pikesville Panthershad a balanced attack and moved strong to the crease.
Joppatowne's Reich said she told her team at the halftime break not to stay stationary on defense.
In the first five minutes of the second half, the Mariners outscored Pikesville, 4-1, to close the gap to 12-10 with20 minutes still left to play.
Fellona led Joppatowne with six goals, followed by Zaledonis with five. Sandy Kuehn added four, and Chrissy Maly scored two. Carol McDermott and Aquino each added one.
Joppatowne goalkeeper Betsy Faust recorded 12 saves.
The Mariners, whose only loss this year was to Fallston, defeated Pikesville last year, 11-5.
"I knew they were going to be good. . . . I'm just thrilled for the kids; they worked real hard. I felt I had a balanced offense," said Schaeffer.
The semifinal game between Fallston and Pikesville will be played at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Harford Community College. The winner will advance to the Class 1A/2A state title game at noon Saturday at Catonsville Community College.
Reporter Mike Jefferson contributed to this story.