Severna Park field hockey goalie Ashley Dalisera was happy to be sitting on a two-goal lead heading into the second half of yesterday's game with Fallston. She was even happier as the half wore on.
The No. 5 Cougars dominated the No. 2 Falcons most of the second half, but Dalisera and her defense held tight and Severna Park went on to win, 3-0, at Roland Park's Sally Nyborg Tournament.
The two-goal edge certainly gave Dalisera a greater comfort zone, but so did her defense.
"They had a lot of good shots," the junior keeper said, "but our rusher Amber Saba did a great job rushing every one of those [corners], and then the defense stepped in in front of all the offenders to stop any deflections from going in."
Dalisera, who made eight of her 10 saves in the second half, turned in the highlight-reel play of the game with 4:45 left when she made a terrific diving save and stopped a shot with her left hand. That gave the Falcons' offense a spark and turned the tide their way.
With 1:46 left, Ali Furton provided the Falcons with a 3-0 lead when she scored on a crossing pass from Madison Thomas.
Earlier in the half, it appeared the Cougars (3-1) had cut the lead to 2-1 when Lindsey Puckett's shot off a penalty corner went into the goal, but the official said the ball had hit a Fallston player's foot and didn't count.
"We had some chances in the first half, too, but definitely in the second half we had them pinned in," Cougars coach Alice Puckett said. "We did a great job of keeping the pressure inside the 25. ... You have to give credit to [Severna Park's] team for hanging in there."
In other action at the Nyborg Tournament, Cassie Ballard scored two goals in the first 10 minutes to spark the Falcons over Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 4-0. Rachel Cooke and Alyssa Elliott scored in Fallston's 2-0 win over No. 11 Hereford.
Roland Park upset Hereford, 1-0, on Kallli Parchment's goal, and the Reds played St. Stephen's/St. Agnes, from Alexandria, Va., to a 0-0 overtime tie, thanks to 13 saves from goalie Laura Lubke.
Many people expected the Towson girls to be good this season, but the Generals made a statement at yesterday's Barnhart Invitational.
Rachel Pillion finished third overall, and No. 5 Towson placed five runners in the top 20 to edge Thomas Johnson by three points in the race at Dulaney. The Generals got a break as No. 3 Dulaney was missing two of its top five runners and finished in fourth place, but Towson turned in a strong performance. "I think it just let us know where we stand," Pillion said.
The top-ranked Calvert Hall boys (70) had a much easier time winning, beating No. 9 Archbishop Spalding by 38 points..
NO. 9 PERRY HALL 38, TOWSON 14: : The Gators (2-0) jumped to a 25-0 halftime lead en route to their win over the visiting Generals (0-2). Davonta Farrell passed for three touchdowns.
NO. 1 MCDONOGH 3, CENTENNIAL 0; NO. 1 MCDONOGH 7, WOOTTON 0:: Eagles coach Maurice Boylan collected his 300th career win in McDonogh's victory over Centennial in the McDonogh Tournament. He later recorded win No. 301 in the Eagles' shutout of Wootton.