Credit Bruce Sponsler for having a keen memory.
The Old Mill girls soccer coach hasn't forgotten that his team lost to yesterday's opponent, Franklin of Baltimore County, in the regional final two years go.
He even recalls the manner in which his Patriots went down, in a dramatic shootout after a scoreless regulation.
Yesterday, his team gave the visiting Indians something to remember.
Sophomore Michelle Salmon scored three goals, and top-seeded Old Mill (13-0) withstood a Franklin rally to defeat the fourth-seeded Indians, 3-2, to advance to the Class 3A/4A Region II finals.
The Patriots, who won state championships in 1986 and 1987, meet Eleanor Roosevelt (a 1-0 winner over Bowie yesterday) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Salmon had been shut down in recent games, but she increased her county-leading goal totalto 22 last night.
She blew past Franklin defender Tammy Olson to score her first goal at 7 minutes, 15 seconds, converting Old Mill's third shot of the game from close range.
Salmon continued to poundaway at the Franklin net and scored again at 18:37, taking a pass from Cindy Parulis and chipping the ball inside the right post.
Minutes earlier, she nearly had an assist on a give-and-go with Amy Tolley, but Tolley's shot barely went wide left.
The Indians didn't take their first shot until 19 minutes remained in the half, and they ended the night on the short end of a 31-6 shot count.
"They're a very good team, very fast," Franklin coach Ed Ommert said. "Here, you have 11 excellent players starting. In Baltimore County, you're lucky to have five or six."
An Old Mill defense that has allowed only seven goals all season had to contend with one of those "excellent" players, Franklin senior Michele Palguta, the Baltimore metro area's leading scorer with 24 goals and 12 assists.
With Parulis shadowing her every move, Palguta was a non-factor for most of the game. She rarely touched the ball, and when she did, someone from Old Mill quicklytook it away from her.
The exception occurred with just under 10 minutes remaining, when Palguta knocked in a loose ball, the first goal allowed by Old Mill keeper Amy Drapalski this season.
Salmon had scored her third goal at 23:40 of the second half, lining a shot over fallen Indians keeper Jennifer Cooper (19 saves).