Today's State Soccer Finals

November 13, 2008|By TODD KARPOVICH AND GLENN GRAHAM

BOYS CLASS 3A

Tuscarora (9-6-2) vs. No. 4 Fallston (16-2)

When, where: 5 p.m., UMBC

Outlook: Fallston carries a storied playoff history into the state final, making its 12th tournament appearance, against Tuscarora, which is still trying to build its legacy after competing on the varsity level for five years. The Cougars, whose last state championship was in 1992, have prided themselves on balance this season and are equally effective scoring goals and defending. Fallston, the No. 2 seed out of the Class 3A East region, advanced to the title game with a 1-0 victory over La Plata on a goal by Derek Hyde. Senior Mike Hamilton has been a steadying force as captain, and Dominic Welsh leads the team with 20 goals and four assists. The Titans are making their first appearance in the state tournament and were two minutes away from elimination before Wayne Craig scored the tying goal against No. 15 Towson in the semifinals. Tuscarora's defenders do a solid job closing down forwards and are also not afraid to make runs at the opposing team's goal.

THE BALTIMORE SUN'S PICK: Fallston

GIRLS CLASS 3A

No. 2 Fallston (17-0)

vs. Bethesda-Chevy Chase (17-0)

When, where: 7:30 p.m., UMBC

Outlook: Both teams are enjoying undefeated seasons. The Cougars, winners of two state titles in the mid-1990s, dominated the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference and have outscored their four playoff opponents 17-1 in reaching the title game. Balance up front has played a big role in the team's succes with seniors Monica Fischer (16 goals, 19 assists), Jill Dozier (13, 12) and Erin Lynn (13, 9) all capable of putting the ball in the net, with sophomore M Penelope Fantis (nine, eight) a creative playmaker in the middle. The Barons, who have won two state crowns, also bring plenty of firepower, led by senior Hannah Cooper's 26 goals and 11 assists. Possessing the ball and goalkeeper play - the Cougars rely on senior Marissa Hyde, with Hannah Hoffman in goal for the Barons - will play key roles in which team wins its third state crown.

THE BALTIMORE SUN'S PICK: Fallston

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