Fallston withstands Chesapeake Defending champs score 3-1 win on foe's home field

November 05, 1997|By Brant James | Brant James,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Fifth-ranked Fallston seemed ripe for an ambush last night: the defending Class 3A-4A state champion was playing a North region final against a No. 13 Chesapeake-AA squad it had eliminated in a thrilling region semifinal last season on its home field.

Chesapeake-AA had its chances, but Fallston scored the momentum-swinging first goal, then added two more for a 3-1 win and a date in the state semifinals Friday. Fallston will face either Bowie or Laurel 5 p.m. at Severna Park for the right to defend its title Nov. 15 at Dundalk Community College.

"We're loving it," Fallston coach Nancy Ferguson said. "But we knew they wanted to beat us after last year, and we were never over-sure of ourselves out here today."

Both teams choreographed their best scoring chances in an electric first 10 minutes, when Fallston's Jen Schuerholz had a chance inside 10 yards off an Amber Bradford pass. But Chesapeake goaltender Beth Schull denied Schuerholz enough of the right corner to force her shot wide.

Chesapeake-AA (13-4-2), seeking revenge for the 9-8 loss on penalty kicks last season, then used its superior speed to counterattack. Fallston sweeper Michele Lookingland bailed out keeper Candi Kuligowski on one such rush eight minutes in, blocking a first shot with her shin, then deflecting with her chest Krystal McIntyre's follow from 9 yards.

Veronica Cuford just missed giving Chesapeake-AA the lead 18: 11 before halftime with a crossing shot from 20 yards, but Kuligowski was able to get enough of her glove on the ball to push it wide and beyond hard-charging Cynthia Miller.

"With any luck there we're up 2-0," Chesapeake-AA coach Lin Sullivan said. "And that changes how they have to play the game. We had so many chances."

Chesapeake-AA was outshot just 16-14, and Schull and late-game replacement Nicole Jantz equaled Kuligowski with nine saves.

Fallston (14-3-0) finally checked Chesapeake-AA's momentum with 2: 52 left in the first half when Nicole McNeill leaped to head in Jessica Hammer's corner kick.

Fallston sapped much of the rest of the life out of Chesapeake-AA five minutes into the second half when Gina Lattanzi scored -- for the fouled Kelly Caine -- on a penalty kick for a 2-0 lead. Christy Peterson improved the lead to 3-0 with 21: 43 left by tipping a Randi Falk pass away from Schull and tapping the ball in the net.

Chesapeake-AA averted a shutout when Kuligowski mishandled a 25-yard Brooke Clyde shot with 14 minutes left, allowing it to roll through her legs into the goal.

Pub Date: 11/05/97

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