- The Fallston Cougars field hockey team is headed back to another state championship game.
The Cougars, Class 1A North Region champions, earned the trip Monday night at Broadneck High School in Annapolis, beating West champion, Manchester Valley, 2-1, in overtime.
The Cougars' winning goal came on a break away with less than four minutes left in the first overtime. Danielle McDiarmid made the run, beating the last defender about 35 yards out.
McDiarmid brought the ball into the circle and unleashed a bouncing shot to the right of Mavericks goalie Mariah Durrant. Cougar teammate Marisa Perfetti was at the doorstep to assure the goal, which was credited to McDiarmid with 3:30 showing on the clock.
"I really don't know, I'm just happy someone was able to be in the goal, McDiarmid said after the game." We've been working really hard all season after people said we weren't going to make this far and this just shows to prove them wrong."
The Cougars took a 1-0 nearly two-thirds of the way through the first half. The goal came off one of nine corners in that first half. Perfetti took the corner and the ball worked its way around the circle.
The ball headed toward the goal off Elizabeth Hebert's stick, where Perfetti was perfectly stationed to knock it in.
"That's how a lot of the goals in the previous games have been, it's right there and I just hit it in," Perfetti said of the first goal.
The Cougars had a flurry of other corner opportunities six minutes later, but came away with nothing to show for it.
More corners came in the second half for Fallston, with no results.
Manchester Valley, which had just four corners in the game, used a long hit opportunity to even the score with 5:47 to play.
Madison Boone scored the goal unassisted, setting up the extra period.
Fallston outshot Manchester Valley, 13-6, and had the 16-4 advantage in corners.
"I'm speechless, I'm so excited," Cougars head coach Maddie Palko said. "I could not be more proud of my girls then if they won a national championship."
Cougars goalie Sarah DiMaggio finished with three saves. Durrant made nine saves for the Mavericks.
The Cougars will play Saturday for a 14th state title. Fallston will face Crisfield, a 2-0 winner over Sparrows Point in the other 1A semifinal.
Saturday's title game is set for 11 a.m. at Washington College in Chestertown.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun