Fallston wins share of 3A title Cougars and Magruder end in scoreless tie, are declared co-champs

Field hockey

November 12, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

It wasn't the way Fallston had planned it, but for those involved in a state Class 3A championship game for the second straight year, a tie beats a loss. The Cougars battled Magruder to a scoreless tie at Goucher yesterday, and the two were named co-champions.

A year ago, Fallston was within 10 seconds of a scoreless tie with Centennial and a co-championship, but an Eagles goal took care of that bid.

This time, Fallston coach Alice Puckett went for a quick score with a strong mix of offense and defense on the field for the first seven-on-seven overtime session, then relied on a predominantly defensive unit for the second 10-minute session.

The Harford County team dominated much of the game, but could not finish its scoring chances, mainly because of the play of Rachel Fields, Magruder's senior goalkeeper. Fallston had the edge in corners, 13-10, and in shots on goal, 14-3, but the acrobatic Fields made nine saves to one for her opposite number, Ashley Staples, the first freshman to start in Alice Puckett's 14 coaching seasons.

Fields saved at least two seemingly certain goals in the second half with a split and a raised leg, the ball deflecting off her pads each time.

"My play has gotten better in the playoffs -- I have focused better," said Fields, one of eight senior starters for the Rockville school. "I faced more shots in other games, but none any harder than here."

The team had sagged in the middle of the season, going 0-5-2 in a seven-game span, before turning things around. The Colonels won the last two games, and went 4-0-1 in the playoffs, as Fields recorded five straight shutouts.

Fallston backs, led by Amanda Wheeler, one of four senior starters, and Adriane Keller, a junior, provided a solid defense in front of Staples.

"I felt pressure the longer it went, especially in the overtime," said Wheeler, who played the final segment.

"At the same time, it was the way it went all year. Adriane, Carrie [Wirth] and I always told each other not to worry if someone got by, because there would always be somebody to back up the play."

Puckett said about Keller: "She was great, really steady, and had just a fine game.

Forward Diana Ordes, a Fallston junior, shook her head over missed scoring opportunities. "I had a couple of chances where I should have dodged and been in better position to shoot."

Previously, Fallston had won successive Class 2A titles in 1993-94. For the last four years, its record is 61-2-3.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase 2, North East 0: Senior Moe Denney and sophomore Becky Schatzkin scored second-half goals and Bethesda-Chevy Chase completed a 17-0 season with the victory. North East (10-7) goalkeeper Laura Lutz ended with 17 saves. It was the third straight title for the Barons and their coach, Amy Wood, a member of two state championship teams at Aberdeen in the late 1970's, whose four-year log is 59-3-2.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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