Fallston senior Sam Nolan scored five goals, with none bigger than the last, in Saturday's Maryland Class 1A-2A girls lacrosse state semifinal against Parkside at Bel Air High School.
Nolan's goal, assisted by Heather Summers, with 46.7 seconds left in the second overtime, gave the Cougars a 14-13 win and a berth in the state finals.
C. Milton Wright was eliminated from post-season play in a rematch of a game earlier this season. The Mustangs, who lost to Century during the regular season, fell Friday night, 10-8.
The Cougars were to meet Winters Mill in the championship game Tuesday night at UMBC. (See http://www.exploreharford.com for pictures and results.)
"We called a timeout and we were practicing those plays in practice, the last day, and we just knew that we needed a critical goal and that play always comes out and works for us in the end," Nolan said.
Nolan then stepped in to take the game deciding draw control, which the Cougars won and were able to run out the clock's final 46 seconds.
Fallston, which squandered an early 4-0 lead, had two chances in the final 12 seconds of regulation. Jenna Mosketti saw her high free position shot bounce off the pipe with 10 seconds to play and Nolan's low shot as time expired was stopped by Parkside goalie Bethany Davis.
The Cougars had their 4-0 lead before eight minutes were gone off the first half clock. Nolan scored three of the four and Christina Wright scored her first of two.
The Cougars and Rams then traded goals throughout the final 17 minutes of the first half, sending the Cougars into halftime with a four-goal cushion, 8-4.
Mosketti's second goal of the contest opened the second half scoring for a 9-4 lead, but Parkside scored on back-to-back free position shots by Brie Custis and Anna Davis to make it 9-6.
Fallston's Tori Wagner countered with a free position goal and a 10-6 lead, but the Cougars, who struggled with draw control and ball control, lost their lead.
Parkside scored five unanswered goals over a 5:43 span to take its first lead, 11-10, with 7:52 remaining.
Nolan's fourth goal followed a minute and a half later, knotting the score at 11-11 and neither team found the nets over the final minutes, forcing the overtime.
In the first overtime, Wright's second goal put the Cougars on top, but only briefly as Parkside's Sydney Langeler scored to re-tie the game, setting up the final overtime period.
Davis put Parkside back ahead in the final overtime, but Courtney Laubach's third goal of the game re-tied the score, setting up Nolan's eventual game-winner.
Summers finished with a goal and an assist.
Fallston played two goalies, with Grace Deckert making three saves in the first half and Jordan Wagner collecting five saves in the second half and overtime periods.
Parkside goalie Bethany Davis finished with six saves.
Mustangs knocked out
After beating C. Milton Wright earlier this season, the Century girls lacrosse team knew it was in for a battle in Friday's rematch in the Class 2A-3A state semifinals.
The Knights, however, nearly got more than they could handle, going down to the wire before senior Angela Flister scored with 1:36 left to break a tie in a 10-8 win over the Mustangs at Annapolis High.
Century, which is pursuing its sixth state title since 2004, fell behind, 4-0, in the first 10:19 before coming to life. Haley Bordner had four goals and Shelby Mercer and Flister three each.
"We really didn't come out that strong," Flister said. "We hadn't played a team that strong since the beginning of the season. We had to wake up and get back those four goals."
C. Milton Wright started quickly, building a 4-0 lead, scoring twice in two minutes on free positions by Lauren Haggerty and Abby Smucker.
After looking a step slow in the early going, Century crawled back into the game by winning draw controls. The Knights finished the half by scoring five of the final six goals, pulling even at 5-5 when senior Flister dove to her right and fired an off-balance shot past goalie Heather McKee.
Smucker led the Mustangs with three goals, while Maggie Gallagher and Sara Nolan had two each. Haggerty finished with one goal.
Katie Gallagher had two assists and Brooke Williams had one.
CMW goalie McKee made eight saves.
"We had discussed our previous game against them and the girls played a fantastic game, executing our game plan very well," Mustangs head coach Brent Ritz said. "Century won a few crucial draws at the end of the game when it was tied 8-8."
Rich Scherr for The Baltimore Sun contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun