Centennial coach Mike Seigert predicted that Friday night's state Class 3A-2A semifinal would be a high-offense, spectator-friendly event, and neither team disappointed. The game featured 84 shots.
Both teams were quite prolific, but the No. 15 Eagles were a bit more efficient in coming away with a 17-10 victory over Easton.
The Warriors struggled to put most of their 41 shots on goal ,and when they did, they had trouble beating Eagles goalie Van Fochios, who finished with 16 saves.
During a 16-minute stretch spanning halftime, Fochios stopped 11 shots and sparked the Eagles (15-3) to a 12-7 lead.
"I'm happy I was on my game today," Fochios said. "I expected a lot of shots. They were good at getting the skip pass, trying to find that open guy on the back side. They did a real nice job of that, got a few goals off of it, but towards the end, we shut that down."
The Warriors (14-4) took a 5-4 lead 37 seconds into the second quarter on Cory Berry's goal, but the Eagles answered with an 8-1 run that included three of Shane Jaeger's seven goals and those 11 saves by Fochios. Patrick Downey's goal gave the Eagles a 12-7 lead with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
Easton, in the state semifinal for the first time since 1993, rallied with three straight goals, but the Eagles won the next two faceoffs and Greg Edmonds and Harrison Chaires scored within 14 seconds of each other for a 14-10 lead going into the final quarter.
The Eagles, who won the most recent of their four state titles in 2005, will try to add one when they face the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between defending champ and No. 9 Hereford and Walkersville, a rematch of last season's title game.
No. 15 Fallston 13, Winters Mill 11: : The Cougars fell behind defending champion Winters Mill 7-2 and then rallied with nine straight goals while holding the Falcons scoreless for more 14 minutes en route to victory in their Class 3A-2A state semifinal at Annapolis.
The Cougars (16-3) advance to their first state title game since 1995 and will meet the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between No. 4 Mount Hebron and No. 6 Annapolis for the title Tuesday or Wednesday night at UMBC.
Katie Leech and Erin McMunn scored two goals each in the early Falcons run, but the Cougars got three goals from Monica Fischer and two from Roxie Raab in their nine-goal spurt to they pulled ahead 11-7 on Raab's free-position goal with 19:14 left.
"I don't know if it was nerves, but we came out slow. Then we came out hard after that time out [after Winters Mill took a 5-1 lead]. We knew being down by four, we had to step it up and win the draw, because that's the main part of the game," said Fischer, who scored four goals and who along with teammate McKenzie Hannahs will play in her third state final this school year.
The Falcons (13-5) rallied to within 13-11 on goals from Leech, McMunn and Mandy Buell with 54 seconds to go, but the long scoreless drought was too much to overcome.
"We didn't get the draws in that stretch," said Winters Mill coach Courtney Vaughn, "and it's possession. ... You just can't do that against a good team."