Fast forward about two months to the regional field hockey championships where No. 1 Fallston and No. 10 Towson are likely to meet again. Then, there will be a winner.
Yesterday, however, the two battled to a 0-0 double-overtime tie at the Towson Tournament - somewhat of a moral victory for both teams, which had played 140 minutes of field hockey by the time the final whistle sounded. Both notched earlier victories over Westminster in the round-robin affair.
"I feel really good," said Towson defender Meredith Harter after 60 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute seven-on-seven overtime periods against Fallston. "This is a good way to start the season, playing the apparently top-ranked team and not giving up a goal. It's a real confidence builder."
The game also gave the two teams a first glimpse at their potential regional foe. A year ago, the Cougars (1-0-1) were runners-up in the Class 3A state championship game, while the Generals (1-0-1) were state runners-up in Class 2A. Not only are both in Class 3A this year, but only one can make it to the state final four, because both are in the Class 3A North region.
"Everybody's saying, `We'll see you at regionals,' " said Fallston forward Kim Ziegler. "This is great, because it gives you a look at what you're probably going to be facing in the future."
In yesterday's game, Fallston mounted the biggest threat in regulation with several shots through the middle of the second half. Ziegler fed Lisa Shockley off a corner play for what appeared to be a goal, but Shockley's drive went off the body of a teammate into the cage.
The reigning Harford County champions took four shots in the first overtime. Krissy Browning nailed a couple of close-range shots that Generals goalie Maya Yacoub kicked away. With 30 seconds left, Ziegler fired a shot from the top of the circle off a corner play that defender Alex Chambers deflected with her stick.
Neither team managed to take advantage of the fast-break potential of the more open field.
"They were exhausted," said Towson coach Holly West, of both teams. "I can see the advantage to some of these tournaments being scheduled on Friday and Saturday. It's tough to play two good games in a day regardless of what condition you're in."
In the earlier games, Westminster, last year's Class 4A state runner-up, got a terrific performance from goalie Amanda Diehl, who registered 25 saves, including 15 against Fallston.
The Cougars were quick out of the box against the Owls (0-2), taking a 2-0 lead in the first 13 minutes that would stand as the final score. Danielle Krimm and Lindsey Mueller scored the goals, both on assists from Browning.
In the 1-0 loss to Towson, Diehl saved a penalty stroke to keep the Owls close after Julie Stiltz scored on a fast break.