No. 1 Fallston overcomes itself for 2-1 semifinal win

Cougars trail after 1st half but rally past C.M. Wright

Class 3A North field hockey

October 29, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The Fallston field hockey team knew the road to a third straight state semifinal appearance would include games like this.

In its Class 3A North regional semifinal yesterday against host C. Milton Wright, the top-ranked Cougars weren't as sharp offensively as they usually are, their penalty corners, which have accounted for so many goals this season, didn't appear as dangerous, and most alarming, Fallston trailed at halftime for just the second time all season.

But the Cougars had time to change all that, and did so in the second half, scoring goals slightly more than two minutes apart to beat the Mustangs, 2-1, and clinch a spot in tomorrow's regional final.

The Cougars, whose 14-1-1 record includes a 1-0 victory Oct. 8 against C. Milton Wright, will play host to Towson, a 2-0 winner yesterday over Catonsville.

Fallston and Towson played to a scoreless tie in early September.

"It was scary," said Fallston senior Kim Ziegler of her team's 1-0 second-half deficit. "[Coach Alice] Puckett told us at halftime that we weren't finishing the season on this field. Every time we come to one of these games, we say we want to practice tomorrow. That's our motivation."

The Harford County champion Cougars will be practicing today, thanks in large part to Ziegler, an All-Metro forward who assisted on both goals.

With 15:43 to play, senior Sarah Hendricks' penalty corner went to Ziegler, who stopped the ball for Lisa Shockley. Ziegler then got the ball back from Shockley and drove a shot that Hendricks deflected past Mustangs goalie Sarah Brockmeyer for the tying goal.

At the 13:40 mark, the Cougars ran the same play off another corner, but this time it was senior Krissy Browning tipping in Ziegler's pass for the game-winner.

"We knew we were going to run that play on our next corner," Browning said. "I just had my stick down to put it in."

Before the goals, the Cougars were 0-for-8 on corners.

"I think the momentum shifted, but our girls never let down at all," said C. Milton Wright coach Carla Harward, whose team ended its season 9-6-1.

The Mustangs had a 1-0 lead in the first half, as freshman Mary Waller scored off a rebound of Laura Schnell's drive at the 14:43 mark.

After the Cougars had gone ahead 2-1, it was Waller who had the Mustangs' best chance to tie the score, but her shot bounded harmlessly past the right post, not forcing a save from Maddie Goetz.

"Any time when you come from behind, it is good mental preparation for them," Puckett said. "We want to go as far as we can go and have that last practice, but we still have a tough road ahead."

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