Quick strike staggers Fallston Northern-Calvert leaves Cougars playing catch-up in 2-1 state final defeat

Class 3A field hockey

November 12, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

A new play, installed for the occasion, worked to perfection for Northern of Calvert County in the opening minute of its Class 3A state championship game with No. 3 Fallston (15-2) at Goucher College yesterday.

The Patriots scored on the maneuver and went on to hold off a Fallston team that seemed to control much of the action and record a 2-1 victory.

The first time Northern (15-2) got control, it drove the ball down the left side. Stacey Zurenko sent a direct pass to Katie Andes inside the circle on the right and she had a wide-open shot into the left corner of the cage.

Fallston goalkeeper Ashley Staples came out, but had no chance as Andes slapped the ball past her.

Staples, a sophomore who had permitted more than one goal only twice before in games this season (Roland Park and Loch Raven), had a clear view of the shot because Andes did not have a defender near her.

"We just didn't mark her," Fallston coach Alice Puckett said of the play.

Mary Finley, in her sixth year as coach at the Owings school, had taken two previous Calvert County teams to state finals (Calvert, a 3A co-champion in 1990 and Northern, a 4A loser to Severna Park in 1994). She was ecstatic over her first outright championship.

"We wanted to come out and hit them hard right away," the coach said. "We worked on a set play for the first time we got the ball -- it was something brand new -- and we were looking to score."

Andes, a junior whose two goals enabled her to tie Kristen Costa for the team lead with 17, scored what turned out to be the winning goal on an unassisted play midway through the first half, and it came on one of the few times the Patriots were able to mount a serious attack.

Northern's chief threat was senior Lisa Brinkley, who time and again sent long drives into the attacking end, only to have them disrupted by the Harford County team.

Fallston came out of the intermission much more active than it had been and set the tempo for the rest of the way. The effort paid off with one goal after seven minutes as Barbara Ordes converted a hit by Danielle Marconi, knocking the ball past senior keeper Terri Hagner.

The Cougars finished with a 12-2 margin on corners, but could not finish any of them against a defense led by junior Carrie Hance.

Puckett, in a final for the fifth straight year (three titles) said, "We had every opportunity on the corners and just didn't do it. We didn't get good shots."

This marked the ninth state tournament for Puckett, dating back to 1986. Overall, there have been six championships, two finalists, and one semifinalist.

Northern had reached the final with a 2-0 win over Catonsville on goals by Costa and Zurenko, and Fallston had made it with a 1-0 decision over Walter Johnson, on a goal by Marconi.

Pub Date: 11/12/97

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