Playing what is believed to be the final games on the Fallston High School's 38-year old grass field, the Cougars girls and boys lacrosse teams swept their way to Class 1A-2A North region championships Wednesday.
The Fallston girls opened the hot afternoon action with a 19-10 win over Patterson Mill and the boys followed suit, also beating Patterson Mill, 16-7. Both teams play in state semifinal games Friday or Saturday at Northeast-AA High School against the Southern-AA-Queen Anne's winner.
The girls and boys East region finals were postponed until Thursday because of a double-fatal crash on Route 50 early Wednesday afternoon.
In the Fallston girls win, the Cougars (14-3) struck quickly with Jesse Brennan scoring :37 into the game. Zoe Hurlburt added a goal three minutes later, but on three free position shots from Beth Bruck, Kate Lamberti and Elise Alders, Patterson Mill slipped ahead, 3-2, with 16 minutes left in the first half.
The Cougars answered with back-to-back goals to go back ahead and the Huskies called timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Cougars scored three more straight. The lead grew to 7-3 and the Huskies slowly fell further behind.
When the timeout was called we were on a little bit of a roll, but the important thing was that we continued to get possessions off the draw," Cougars coach Mike McTeague said.
Olivia Beil's only goal halted the Fallston 5-0 run, but the Cougars outscored the Huskies, 5-1, to close the half and lead, 12-5, at the break.
"I called the timeout just to give our girls a break. It's so hot out here, it's the first hot day," Patterson Mill head coach Kim Burgasser said. "We don't have the depth in our sideline to sub. We only have six subs, compared to some of these other bigger teams to sub the middies constantly."
It didn't get any better as the second half started. Izzy Dallam (goal, three assists) and Kelly Emge (five goals) scored to boost the Cougars lead to nine, 14-5.
The Huskies alternated goals with the Cougars over an eight-minute stretch, but it was 16-8 with 12 minutes to play.
The Cougars then scored their final three goals, before the Huskies added their final two.
Hurlburt finished with five goals and three assists for Fallston and Brennan had four goals and an assist.
Emily Solak added three goals and Sam DeCarlo had one to finish the Cougars scoring.
Elise Alders led the Huskies (11-5) with three goals, while Bruck, Lamberti and Kaley Thompson had two goals apiece. Beil also had an assist.
In the goal, Fallston keeper Lexi Roberts had 12 saves and Huskies goalie Faith Treptow had seven.
"I just knew I had to bring it today, it was very important, it was an important game. We were not about to not take this further to the next round," Roberts said.
Cougars win boys title, too
In the boys win, the Cougars (14-3) scored nine unanswered first half goals and led the Huskies at the half, 9-0.
The game was a scoreless battle for more than six minutes into the first quarter. That changed when Justin Williams beat Patterson Mill goalie Tim Tangires to the ball. Williams made the steal and found an easy goal with the open net.
Teammate Ben Claffee also scored off a steal, but his came out near midfield. Claffee then worked his way to the goal and scored with 2:35 left in the quarter.
Claffee (five goals, one assist) scored again and then assisted on a Jeff Otenasek goal with :16 left.
Dylan Wolf's first of three goals came just 34 seconds into the second quarter. Claffee added two more in the quarter and Jack Dennis and Matt White also scored to build up the 9-0 halftime lead.
"The first half on the scoreboard looks like we dominated, but I don't really feel like we dominated, we just made some plays off mistakes and really won the ground ball battle," Fallston coach Matt Parks said. "So, it wasn't a pretty 9-0 and we continued to play that way in the second half and we just made some mistakes and they started to come back."
That the Huskies (10-6) did. Brendan Bandy broke the ice 1:20 into the thrd quarter. Blake Tallon and Nick Repke also scored and the Cougars lead was shrinking, 9-3.
White (two goals, two assists) scored for the Cougars to slow the Huskies charge, but Drew Novad and Bandy (three goals) scored consecutive goals to cut the Fallston lead in half, 10-5.
Otenasek's second goal closed the third quarter scoring and gave the Cougars an 11-5 lead into the final 12 minutes.
The Cougars scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter and had a 5-2 advantage in the quarter to put the game away.
"They got a nine goal lead on us to start the game and at halftime we were down nine," Huskies coach Jason Bellamy said. "We just kind of challenged the kids a little bit and got back to the fundamentals that we're good at and challendged them to climb back in a little bit. We scored three straight goals to start the second half and that kind of got us some momentum."
Colton Presley added two goals and an assist for the winning Cougars.
Repke also scored two for the Huskies and Drew Novad added one goal and two assists.
In the goal, Fallston keeper Scott Olin made 10 saves and Tangires finished with 13 for the Huskies.
"I think winning another region title means a lot to our program and it's the last game ever on this home field and we put up nine the first half and then they started coming back and we had to keep the gas on and that's exactly what we did and we ended up getting the result we desired," Otenasek said.