Cindy Herbert doesn't have time for the pain.
A collision with anOld Mill player during an Oct. 25 game left Chesapeake's senior goalie with damaged tissue in her nose. Doctors prescribed medication to ease the discomfort and aid the healing process.
That was two games, and two victories, ago. And Herbert hasn't missed a beat.
"I haven't even gone and gotten the prescription filled yet," she said after Saturday's 2-1 come-from-behind victory over second-seeded Severna Park in the Class 4A/3A Region III final.
Herbert was victimized early in Saturday's game by a defensive switch that resulted in a Cathi Hanson breakaway goal and a 1-0 Severna Park lead. It was only her eighth goal allowed this season.
But she shut down the Falcons (10-2-2) over the last 72 minutes, 39 seconds, as the top-seeded Cougars (12-1-1) garnered the first region championship in school history.
Sophomore Jamie Long and junior Stacey Necessary scored second-half goals. And Herbert, coming off a 2-0 shutout of South River in Wednesday's semifinals, finished with eight saves.
"She's done such a fantastic job all year," said Chesapeake coach Lin Sullivan. "This is a girl who came up as a freshman and we expected her to become our starting goalkeeper because we've watched her since she was 8 years old. And this is the year we've been expecting herto have.
"She's kept us in the close games and when our offense was sputtering, gave the offense a chance to catch up."
Herbert needed a little luck, as well as lots of strength and quickness, to remain only one goal down in the first half.
She gambled early by charging out to pounce on a loose ball just ahead of Severna Park midfielder Stephanie Roberts, who was staring at an open net. But she had norecourse on Hanson's goal minutes later, though she made a valiant effort by diving to her left.
The Falcons had a couple other rushesto the net during that time, when Chesapeake defenders were badly beaten and Herbert could only await a shot that would veer wide.
In an effort to generate some extra offense, Sullivan had employed a five-man front, with three halfbacks and double sweepers.
"We knew wewould have to give up a little on defense," he said. "We're not realfamiliar with the formation, and I think that's one of the reasons the first goal happened. It's not supposed to leave the middle open. We just lost concentration there."
Herbert said, "It kind of lookedlike my team wasn't moving around, they weren't making the break forthe throw-ins. They just looked like they were letting Severna Park beat them to the ball and letting Severna Park make the first move, then trying to react to it."
Herbert's reaction after Hanson's goalwas to remain on one knee, eyes fixed on the ground, while the otherplayers returned to their positions.
It was the last negative moment for the Cougars, who dominated the second half and, in beating Severna Park for the first time ever, denied the Falcons a chance at their fourth consecutive state title.
A playoff loss was "bound to come," said Severna Park coach Joyce Stefancik, whose team had its 57-game unbeaten streak ended by Old Mill last month.
"It's certainlysomething a coach can take a little better than kids. But, hey, it'spart of the game. They gave it their best shot and that's all you can ask."
Herbert was among the Cougars asking to finally beat Severna Park. Chesapeake had come close Oct. 18, when the teams played to a 3-3 tie, but that wasn't enough.
"It's awesome; we finally beat them," Herbert said, after receiving a hug from her father, John, whodisplayed the words "Daddy Herbert" on the back of his shirt.
"Itdoesn't matter that Old Mill beat them first, as long as we still did it."