Fallston goalie nets 3rd state title, 1-0

Staples holds Long Reach at bay

Severna Park, Chevy Chase also champs

Field hockey championships

High schools

November 14, 1999|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Ashley Staples is the only four-year starter Alice Puckett has had in 17 years of coaching field hockey at Fallston. Yesterday, Staples, a goalie, played in her fourth state championship final. Fittingly, she went out a champion.

"I do think about how lucky I am to be on a team like this, but I don't think luck has anything to do with our getting to the state championships," said Staples, after the Cougars successfully defended their Class 3A title with a 1-0 victory over Long Reach at Goucher College. "It's blood, sweat, tears and team. That's all it is. There's no way we could do this without pushing ourselves.

"I feel so lucky to have the team that I have," added Staples, who has been on three state champions. "To have that kind of dedication. You can't get here without that kind of dedication, and I think it's awesome that our program has instilled that within itself. The program has dedication now, it's not just the girls on the team. I don't think many schools have that."

No. 7 Fallson (15-3) has earned eight titles in 11 state tournament appearances. And Puckett is second only to Severna Park's Lilian Shelton (12) in championship victories.

Fallston had lost to No. 8 Long Reach, 1-0, Sept. 14, despite outplaying the Lightning (13-3-2) in the second half. Yesterday, the Cougars dominated all but the first five minutes, and had a 13-1 advantage in penalty corners and a 15-2 edge in shots.

Amanda Novak's goal, off an assist from Kelly Biedermann, with 2: 45 left in the first half was all Fallston needed.

Corrinne Grennwood started the play with a long hit toward the circle. Biedermann controlled the ball and moved left across the goal area. When goalie Jaye Lance came out to defend, Biedermann crossed it back to Novak.

"I just flipped it in," Novak said. "The goal was open."

Biedermann looked as if she might score late in the second half, but she was tripped by Lance and a penalty stroke was called. Leah Keller took the stroke, but Lance stopped the shot with her glove.

Puckett said that her team "played a strong game" and that Grennwood and Keller were strong defensively.

"This is just great," Puckett said. "We have so many alumni that come back every year and they are so much a part of everything. Getting here and winning makes it all worthwhile. It's been a great year."

Class 4A

No. 2 Severna Park 2, Walt Whitman 1: Two goals from senior standout Erin Shaklee -- one in each half -- proved enough for the Falcons, who withstood another challenge to come away with another state championship, over the Vikings from Montgomery County.

The Falcons' defense spent a lot of yesterday capably protecting one-goal leads against a Walt Whitman team that was able to stay on even terms with it.

The title gives Severna Park (18-2) 12 state crowns, seven of the past eight and three straight.

Class 2A

Bethesda-Chevy Chase 2, No. 15 Mount Hebron 1: The Montgomery County school won a record sixth consecutive state championship. The Barons (18-1) were making their 14th appearance in the tournament. They have earned nine titles and have been finalists three other times.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase scored seven minutes into the game on Emily Beach's penalty stroke. The Barons made it 2-0 with 20 minutes left in the game before Grace Lee's goal with 6: 40 remaining brought Mount Hebron (11-6-2) within one.

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