Chestertown - The Patterson Mill Huskies' quest for their first state field hockey title ended in heartbreak Saturday afternoon, when they were beaten, 3-2, in overtime by the North Carroll Panthers in the Class 1A Championship match at Washington College.
Saturday's loss marked the second time Patterson Mill has made it to the final, only to be beaten by a single goal. In the 2010 1A final, the Huskies suffered a 1-0 loss to Pocomoke.
This year's 1A final saw the North Carroll girls strike first, as Meghan Harmon scored early in the first half to put the Panthers up, 1-0.
Patterson Mill found the equalizer a short time later, when Hannali Patidar scored a goal after getting a feed from Linnea Gonzales.
Gonzales, one of the top offensive players in the state this year, came into the game with 35 goals and 21 assists. With a little under 10 minutes left before halftime, she added one more goal to that list to put the Huskies up, 2-1.
"We knew coming in that she was very, very good," North Carroll head coach Denean Koontz said of Gonzales after the Panthers had accepted their state title plaques. "We had watched some video of them playing, so we definitely knew what we were getting into. But, we also knew we were going to come out and play our kind of hockey."
In the final seconds of the half, North Carroll had a two-on-one breakaway against Patterson Mill goalie Maddie Hedrick, but Hedrick was able to make a diving stop of the Panthers' shot to preserve the Huskies' 2-1 lead.
The first 15 minutes of the second half saw Patterson Mill awarded six penalty corners. The Huskies, however, were unable to put another goal between them and the Panthers.
With 9:45 left in regulation time the Panthers took advantage of a penalty corner, with North Carroll's Emily Harrison scoring the game-tying goal.
Regulation time ended with the two squads still locked at 2-2.
In the opening minutes of the first sudden-death overtime period, the Huskies were awarded four more penalty corners, but again could not find the game-winner.
After North Carroll took control of the ball back and earned a penalty corner, Harmon struck again, this time putting the game-winning goal into the Patterson Mill net.
"We are a really good passing team, and that's what got us here," Gonzales said after the game. "But, we had trouble finishing today. We want to come back here next year and win this one. Last year we lost in the regional tournament, and we got closer this year."