WINFIELD — Howard High came within one second of a major field hockey playoff upset yesterday, before South Carroll High pulled out a dramatic 2-1 victory over the visiting Lions in overtime.
South Carroll forward Erin Eaton scored two minutes into the first overtime to lift the top-seeded Cavaliers over the stubborn fourth-seeded Lions.
South Carroll (12-1) will play host to Centennial of Howard County in tomorrow's Class 3A, Region III title game.
Centennial defeated Linganore of Frederick County, 1-0, in their contest yesterday.
Howard finished with a 5-7-1 record, but the Lions went down in memorable fashion.
South Carroll spent the first 54 minutes in complete control, for the most part camped near the Lions' goal.
The Cavaliers allowed Howard past midfield only three times, outshot the Lions, 22-1, and earned 22 penalty-corner opportunities while denying anyto Howard.
Howard had controlled the ball for perhaps three minutes.
Only a remarkable 20-save effort by goalie April Calton kept the Lions clinging to life.
But with six minutes left in regulation, the Lions got a break.
Forward Cindy Yi picked up a loose ball near midfield and passed between two South Carroll Cavalier defenders to forward Gina Bonofiglio.
She took the ball from the top of the circle, dribbled up close and beat goalie Brandi Miller with a shot into the right corner.
Twenty seconds later, South Carroll coach Stacy Stem called a timeout.
"It was frustrating. We played that hard, dominated them that much, and we were about to lose on one shot," Stem said. "We panicked, but we knew we had to get the goal.
"Theywaited long enough, but they got it."
The Cavaliers had three more penalty corners in regulation, but to no avail.
Then, with 10 seconds left, Eaton broke into the circle and toward Calton, who kickedEaton's shot into the Cavaliers in front of the cage.
The ball bounced between a handful of players before -- with one second showing on the clock -- Kim Post scored to send the game into overtime.
Calton saved one more shot before Eaton finally ruined Howard's dream.
"Our last three games have gone into overtime, but this one was pretty incredible," Howard coach Karen Doerrler said.