Fallston moves on after 1-0 OT victory

Simon's defensive gem saves goal

Reuben scores game-winner

Class 3A field hockey

High Schools

November 06, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Stephanie Simon wasn't about to let anything stand between her No. 7-ranked Fallston field hockey team and the state final game.

The senior midfielder made the defensive play of the game in overtime yesterday that enabled the Cougars to take a 1-0 victory over Walter Johnson in a Class 3A semifinal at Goucher College.

In a furious Wildcats blitz, Simon rushed from the right post to slide in front of a Jamie Goldberg shot that slipped past Cougars keeper Heather Winkler and headed just inside the left post.

FOR THE RECORD - A photograph in yesterday's sports section misidentified Walter Johnson field hockey player Lisa Furst. The Sun regrets the error.

Goldberg thought she had scored and thrust her fist in the air, but Simon cleared the ball. A couple of minutes later, Winkler fought off five shots and sparked a counterattack that ended in the game-winning goal.

Kim Ziegler carried the ball down the left side and into the circle, where she crossed it to Riki Reuben waiting near the far post. The ball hopped over Wildcats defender Abby Werner's stick right to Reuben, who one-timed the ball into the cage behind Wildcats goalie Jane Briggs.

"It was in slow motion," said Reuben, who boosted her season goal total to 15. "I saw the girl [Werner] jump in front of it, so I knew it was just me and the goalie. The ball was bouncing, so I just slid at it with my stick toward it and somehow it went in.

"But I can't take too much credit. Stephanie made a great play. I thought it was over and she came out of nowhere and slid it out."

Without Simon's play, Fallston (13-2-2) would not be headed to Saturday's final. Alice Puckett's Cougars will go after their ninth state title when they meet No. 6 Mount Hebron for the crown at 10 a.m. on Goucher's stadium field.

The Cougars, who dominated possession during regulation but managed just three shots, spent most of the seven-on-seven sudden-death overtime period pinned in their own half of the field.

The Wildcats (11-5-2) took their first shot about five minutes into the overtime when Goldberg seemed to knock the cross inside the left post.

Wildcats coach Candace Thurman still contended after the game that Goldberg's shot went over the goal line.

"I don't know why they didn't call it a goal or a [penalty] stroke. It went over the line," said Thurman. "It's a heartbreaker, because we came back and had it down there twice. They [the Wildcats] feel robbed -- not to take anything away from Fallston. Fallston's a great team. They had their hearts into it, too."

Simon, however, saw the play differently.

"She shot it and it was on the other side of the goal," said Simon. "I saw it get by Heather, so I just dove across. It didn't go over, and I guess I would have the best view."

Then Winkler, who had played a huge role in helping the Cougars beat Severna Park in a regional-final shootout, made five saves, including three on a corner play.

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