Fallston grabs title in 2nd OT

Goal by Dempsey with 3:11 left averts shared championship

No. 5 Fallston 1 Bethesda-Chevy Chase 0

Field hockey Class 3A

November 14, 2007|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun reporter

Fallston's field hockey team has a drill named for sophomore forward Caitlin Dempsey.

At the end of every practice, the No. 5 Cougars hit drives off the post and try to make a Dempsey-style shot, a fearless, do-whatever-it-takes effort to get the ball in the cage.

Last night, Dempsey showed no fear when she lunged after JoEllen Sumego's drive into the circle and scored the game-winner in a 1-0 double-overtime thriller against Bethesda-Chevy Chase for the state Class 3A championship at Broadneck.

In a game that featured only five shots, Dempsey sealed the Cougars' 10th state championship just 3:11 before the teams would have been declared co-champions.

"We knew that was a possibility, and we didn't want that," Dempsey said. "It was awesome. We wanted to do this for our seniors."

Dempsey's goal came on the third Fallston penalty corner of the second seven-on-seven, sudden-death overtime period. Sumego sent the pass from near the top of the circle, and Dempsey swept it between the feet of Barons goaltender Claire Vieth with a reverse stick move.

"She is such a scrapper," Fallston coach Alice Puckett said. "She's dangerous because she'll sacrifice her body. She's not afraid. She's just got a quick little stick. She's annoying, feisty, all the things you just can't coach."

For much of the game, the closest in this year's state tournament, defense made the difference. Fallston played better in the first half, but the Barons controlled much of the second.

While the Cougars attacked much of the first half, played in a foggy mist, they were much more defensive in the second.

"[In the second half] we tried to force the ball through and hit the ball hard, which is not our game," Puckett said. "When we started picking it up was actually the second overtime when we had the nice series of passing. We had a scrimmage Saturday on the turf at HCC [Harford Community College], and that didn't resemble anything we did today. But I credit that to BCC. They adjusted to what we did well and took out some of our better players and didn't give them an opportunity to touch the ball."

Fallston (16-2-1) had chances to score late in regulation. On a penalty corner with 3:53 to go, Lindsey Puckett took the pass, dodged two defenders and fired, but Vieth made the save, the only one for either team in regulation.

Cougars goalie Megan Sadowski saved a high shot from a Bethesda-Chevy Chase player early in the first overtime, blocking it with her thigh. A few minutes later, Vieth saved another shot by Puckett.

Defensively, the Cougars' Kelsey Heckler, Amanda Mosketti, Allison Sibiski, Roxanne Raab and Sadowski allowed only two goals in the five regional and state playoff games.

The Barons (15-4), who have won 13 state titles and fell to Severna Park in last season's 3A final, had equally strong defense, led by Catherine Mirsky, Sophie Mondale, Michele Hayes and Vieth, who also allowed only two goals in the playoffs.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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