Towson coach Pat Troyer couldn't be too upset after her team fell to Middletown, 4-0, in a state Class 2A field hockey semifinal game yesterday at Goucher College.
Last year, the Generals posted a .500 season and the year before, they finished with two wins. "Two years ago, I had nine 10th-graders and a freshman starting. I thought I had some talent then and they've worked hard. It's quite an accomplishment just to get here," said Troyer, who brought Towson teams to the final four from 1986 to 1988.
But the Generals ran up against a team that had not only superior speed and skill but also a history of strength in the sport. Coach Debbie Phoebus' Knights, from Frederick County, won five state titles in the 1980s, including four in a row ending with their last title in 1987. Towson has never won.
The Generals (10-5) played solid defense to hold off top-seeded Middletown's high-powered offense early in the game. Goalie Kristin Fraley had seven first-half saves, including a couple of spectacular blocks. Center halfback Marty Walker and sweeper Dawn McClure also upset a couple of Knights scoring drives.
But the Knights (12-1-2) proved too quick and too highly skilled for the Generals to hold back. Jill Forsythe scored her first goal of the season late in the half on a slow dribbler that Fraley couldn't get a foot onto.
Towson had its best chance to tie the game on a penalty corner early in the second half. Maggie Barkdall sent a shot that barely missed the far edge of the cage.
"You can change the nature of the game if you can tie it, but we couldn't do it," said Troyer.
In the other semifinal, second-seeded Chopticon edged Elkton, 1-0, in overtime. Takisha Bowles scored the game-winner on a pass from Amy Swann with 58 seconds remaining in the 10-minute sudden-death overtime.
Chopticon (10-4-1), from St. Mary's County, got a strong performance from goalie Ginny Fistick, who stopped 12 shots against a potent Elkton offense. Elkton (11-4) outshot Chopticon, 15-3, in regulation.