Key has last word vs. Fallston, 1-0

Cougars dominate stats, but Eagles winners in OT

High Schools

September 18, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For nearly 70 minutes yesterday, the Fallston field hockey team put on a dominating performance against Francis Scott Key, winning the battle at midfield, controlling the ball on offense and getting off the game's first 16 shots.

With one flick of the stick, however, the host Eagles rendered the rest of the afternoon virtually meaningless. Sophomore Melinda White scored off a penalty corner with 36 seconds left in sudden-death overtime to give them a 1-0 win.

"Basic hit ... boom," said Fallston coach Alice Puckett, whose team finished with a 21-5 edge in shots. "All you need in hockey is one good shot. We had some good shots, but they were right at the goalie."

The Cougars (3-2) failed to take advantage of several prime scoring chances in regulation, including midway through the second half when Mandy Novak's drive down the right sideline led to a flurry of four shots in 35 seconds.

Key's offense began to come alive late in regulation, helping push the game into a 7-on-7 overtime. The Eagles (2-2) then won it when Toni Stambaugh sent a penalty corner to White standing two feet inside the arc, and the first-year varsity player fired a hard shot that beat goalie Heather Winkler to her left.

"That's one of our [regulation] corners, but I figured we might as well take advantage of it because Melinda has one of the best shots on the team.," said Key coach Alison Weiss.

Weiss gave high praise to her defense, particularly to goalie Tessa Gist, who stopped 11 shots on goal, including several from point-blank range.

For a team still coping with the graduation of seven seniors following last year's 10-win season, and which entered the game riding consecutive losses to North Carroll and Westminster, the victory provided a huge emotional lift.

For Fallston (3-2), however, the game was eerily reminiscent of a 3-1 loss to Centennial Saturday in which the Cougars came up empty despite controlling play for the majority of the game.

"I can't tell you how frustrated this team has made me the last couple of days," said Puckett. "I feel like this is one of the best teams I've ever coached. To lose this type of game ... "

In a year in which Fallston will have to beat such powerhouses as Severna Park and Dulaney, which both moved down in class to 3A, on the road to a state title, Puckett said she can only hope the game will serve as a lesson.

"I told them we should be 5-0," said Puckett. "I feel like they don't understand how good they are. We're a very good team. We have speed, we have passing, we have shooters, we have a good goalie ... there's nothing missing."

Nothing, at least on this day, but a win.

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