Fallston field hockey answers skeptics



Although Fallston field hockey coach Alice Puckett felt confident about her team coming into this season, she knew the Cougars had plenty of question marks.

For example, even though several experienced players were returning, Fallston had lost five starters and 13 players overall from last year's 8-6 team. The biggest concern was how quickly everything could come together.

The Cougars certainly have pleased Puckett so far, getting help from older and younger players at both ends of the field. No. 8 Fallston has received contributions from a number of players on offense, a big reason the Cougars have gotten off to a 5-2 start.

Juniors Erika Braerman (two goals, six assists) and Kathleen Tress (four goals, two assists) have led the way, followed by the coach's daughter, freshman Lindsey Puckett (three goals, two assists), and junior Paige Comegys (four goals). Tress was last year's leading scorer, and Coach Puckett said she's very happy with what the offense has done so far.

"It's really nice that they're all stepping up and getting good shots," Puckett said.

Puckett's biggest concern was a very young defense, but it also has fared well. Senior captains Liz DiNunno (defense) and Ali Fogarty (halfback) have been strong, along with juniors Natalie Rau and Anna Erickson. In addition, sophomore sweeper Amanda Mosketti and classmate Megan Sadowski have been consistent in goal.

Puckett was particularly pleased with how the defense performed in the Garrison Forest tournament, allowing just one goal in two games. Fallston routed Urbana, 11-0, before falling to No. 5 Mount Hebron, 1-0.

In fact, Mount Hebron has been the only team to cause Fallston trouble this season. The Vikings beat Fallston a second time, 3-2.

"The more games we get, the more experience they get, and the better it will be," Puckett said.

Eagles making birdies

The Aberdeen golf team finished around the .500 mark last year, but coach Kevin Blythe was really looking forward to this year for a few reasons.

He had seniors Patrick Hinch and Derek Buckley coming back at the one and two spots. Both are four-year starters, and Hinch won a state title two years ago. "They're the best 1-2 in the county," Blythe said.

Blythe also knew that sophomores Anthony Vincenti and Jacob Bays would be much better, along with senior Cortez Bennett.

Aberdeen has lived up to its coach's expectations, getting off to a 7-1 start.

Bays, like Bennett, hadn't played before high school, but they're both playing very well this season, as is Vincenti.

"They needed that experience," Blythe said. "Bennett just caught fire and wanted to do better. He worked on his game all [spring and summer]."

Vincenti has shot 3-over-par in the team's past three nine-hole competitions, giving Blythe hope that the Eagles could qualify for next month's state meet.

Still perfect

The Fallston and Joppatowne football teams remained unbeaten with victories last Friday.

Fallston rolled to a 21-6 victory over Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference opponent Bohemia Manor and improved to 3-0. Joppatowne once again had an easy time, routing North East-Cecil, 46-8. The Mariners also went to 3-0.

However, North Harford wasn't as fortunate. The Hawks fell from the unbeaten ranks with a 12-7 loss at Elkton Friday.

Four turnovers proved costly for North Harford. Elkton returned an interception for a touchdown and scored in the fourth quarter to wipe out a 7-6 Hawks' lead and pull out the victory.

The Hawks had rolled up plenty of offense in their first two games and still came up with 251 yards of total offense in the loss.

North Harford's schedule doesn't get any easier this week, as it has to go to Joppatowne to meet the Mariners Friday at 7 p.m. in one of the better early-season Harford County matchups.

Et cetera

John Carroll is hosting a free basketball coaches clinic on Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, contact Anthony Macri at amacri@johncarroll.org.

Numbers game

13 -- Players the Fallston varsity field hockey team lost from last season's team. Still, the Cougars are off to a 5-2 start.

20 -- Points C. Milton Wright led by at halftime of Friday's football game with Hammond before needing overtime to pull out a 35-34 victory.

28 -- Points the Joppatowne football team's defense has allowed while winning its first three games.

83 -- Points the North Harford football team (2-1) has scored over its first three games.

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