No. 14 Pikesville last played an overtime game two weeks ago. Parkside played two in the last week just to reach the state semifinals.
To Pikesville coach Timothy Fowler, that might have been the biggest factor in his squad's 2-1 overtime loss to Parkside yesterday in a Class 2A semifinal at Goucher College.
"The other team came in a little more battle experienced," said Fowler, whose team won its first regional title since 1983. "In the regionals, they went to double overtime in both their games, and that can give you momentum."
While the Panthers (11-3) never had momentum on their side, they bounced back on Laurie Weiss' second-half goal to force the game into overtime.
In the seven-on-seven overtime, Panthers keeper Shira Schlesinger and sweeper Deirdre Carroll held off the Rams for a while. But they could not withstand the constant pressure from the Wicomico County team.
The Rams (11-3-1) had a penalty corner and five shots in the seven minutes of overtime played. The Panthers had none of either.
After Schlesinger made her third save of the overtime, Lori Sleighter turned with the ball a few yards out and fired in the rebound.
"It just came across and I tried to reach it but I couldn't," said Schlesinger, a senior who had seven saves in the game.
Schlesinger and Carroll had to work hard in the overtime, because the second-seeded Panthers sat back on defense, never getting anything going in the other direction.
"Overtime is a marked game," said Fowler. "Everybody has got to be on their people. My kids were playing defense and not marking. You just can't do that in overtime and expect to win, so we kept getting pushed back instead of being right up on the ball and in the play."
The Panthers were lucky to make it to overtime. Parkside dominated and missed two incredible opportunities in the opening minutes.
Rams wing Courtney Urban broke free to go one-on-one with Schlesinger on what appeared to be a sure thing, but Urban nailed the ball off the post.
A couple minutes later, Urban dodged Carroll and back Laurie Better for another one-on-one. This time, Schlesinger made a nice save, and Urban fired the rebound wide.
With 11:11 left in the half, however, the Panthers couldn't hold off the Rams any longer. After a penalty corner, Sleighter scored from a couple yards inside the top of the circle on a pass from Sharon Dickey.
Parkside threatened early in the second half too, so Fowler called a timeout midway through the period. After that, the Panthers turned into a different team. They no longer sat back on defense but turned on the offense.