Fallston edges Liberty, 1-0 No. 3 Cougars gain Class 2A final Field hockey

November 09, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Fallston made good on its only real scoring opportunity of the afternoon and a stubborn defense made the goal stand up for a 1-0 victory over Liberty in their Class 2A state semifinal match at Goucher College yesterday.

The win sends Fallston (13-0-2) into Saturday's 2 p.m. championship game against Parkside, a 2-1 winner over Pikesville, in the other 2A semifinal.

Senior Pam Gauss came out of a crowd in front of the cage to get the Fallston goal, her sixth of the season. It came with 5 minutes, 43 seconds elapsed.

Otherwise, Liberty had much the better of the play with aggressive offense and a defense that kept the Cougars pretty much in their own end.

Liberty started out as though it -- not Fallston -- was the top seed, as it charged into the offensive end and kept the ball there in the early minutes.

One good scoring opportunity got away when the ball rolled across the front of the goal, but there was no one there to deflect it home.

The first time Fallston got its passing game going, it moved into the circle and came away with a penalty corner.

Sophomore goalkeeper Heather Carter kicked out one shot, but Fallston's Nicole Taylor managed to put her stick on the ball, and got it to Katie Wirth on the far side of the goal.

"We were all jammed up in there, the goalie came out and I just went around her," Gauss said of her goal. "It all happened so fast, it's hard to remember."

It will be harder for Liberty to forget, because it did everything but score. Still, as coach Courtney Vaughn said, "If you can't put the ball in the net, you're not going to win. We couldn't put the ball in the hole."

It was a problem the Lions (9-6) had encountered during the regular season, too, as three of their five losses were by 1-0.

For the game, Fallston took five shots (all in the first half) and Liberty

four. Carter had three saves and her counterpart, Jeny Smith, two (one in each half).

It was the 12th straight shutout, 14th overall, as only Francis Scott Key was able to score on her, getting a 2-2 tie. For the year, the Cougars have outscored the opposition, 32-2.

"You can't give up a goal in the playoffs and expect to win," said Fallston coach Alice Puckett. "When teams get this far, they are usually fairly evenly matched and one goal is usually decisive.

"I thought they dominated the game," Puckett said. "They were able to control the ball and [defensively] shut down our right side."

* F.S. Key 2, Kent 1 (Key wins overtime best-of-5 stroke-off, 3-2): Jessica Sutherland scored a goal during regulation and Francis Scott Key won the best-of-five strokes in overtime to defeat Kent County in a state Class 1A semifinal at Goucher College. Key advances to the 1A championship game against Pocomoke at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Goucher. Key will be seeking its fifth state field hockey title in the 19-year history of the tournament.

* Linganore 1, Bel Air 0: Amethyst Tymoch shot a ball that cleared the goal line by about two inches and that was all the third-seeded Lancers (10-3-1) needed for a victory over Bel Air (11-2-2) in a state Class 3A semifinal at Goucher College. Linganore will meet J.M. Bennett in the 3A championship game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Goucher.

* Parkside 2, Pikesville 1 (OT): Lori Sleighter scored a goal in regulation and a goal in overtime to lift Wicomico County's Parkside (11-3-1) over Pikesville (11-3) in a state Class 2A semifinal at Goucher College. Parkside will meet Fallston Saturday at 2 p.m. at Goucher in the 2A championship game.

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