For Fallston to win its second state girls lacrosse championship, the Cougars were going to have to get past two-time defending champion Winters Mill for the second time this season.
Jenna Mosketti sparked the senior-laden Cougars to a quick three-goal lead and they held Winters Mill scoreless for nearly 23 minutes through the middle of the game to beat the Falcons, 13-9, for the state Class 2A-1A championship Tuesday night at UMBC.
"I'm proud of our defense," said Fallston coach Mike McTeague, whose team also won a 2009 state title. "Katie Lazzeri is probably the anchor, but they played very good team defense and when they're communicating, it almost hurts your ears there's so much chatter going on, but it's the only way to play and they really do a nice job."
Fallston (14-4-1) cut off a Falcons' attack that likes to fast break, allowing them to strike quickly only a few times and allowing them to build moment with just one three-goal spurt midway through the second half that cut the Cougars' lead to four.
In the Cougars' regular-season 11-7 win, they held the Falcons scoreless for nearly 30 minutes through the middle of the game and dominated on the draw. Fallston dominated the draw early although Winters Mill won most of them in the second half. Still, after Winters Mill's three-goal run brought them within 10-6, the Cougars second-half goalie Jordan Wagner made a couple of saves to snuff the momentum and the Falcons never bypassed the four-goal deficit.
Two of the Cougars' 11 starting seniors combined for 10 goals. Mosketti finished with six and Courtney Laubach, four. They found plenty of openings with the Falcons keying on top scorer Sam Nolan, who came into the game with 60 goals and 63 assists.
The duo combined for the first three goals when Mosketti fed Laubach and then scored twice for a 3-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. The Falcons (13-6) pulled within one on goals from Felice Artuso and Shelby Trentzsch, but Mosketti scored again to push the lead to 4-2.
Artuso scored her second free-position goal to cut the lead to one with 16:01 to go.
Up to that point, the two teams had scored seven goals on eight shots, but the goalies came alive for the rest of the half as Grace Deckert had four for the Cougars and Heather Lowe made two for the Falcons.
Deckert's stops helped the Cougars finish off the half with a three-goal run, including two in the final 33 seconds. They added to that with a Laubach goal and two from Mosketti to open the second half.
"We came out a little bit scared," said Falcons coach Courtney Vaughn, whose team won three titles in the previous four years. "Their leadership showed and our leadership didn't show up until late second half. We started believing (late in the second half), but then we didn't convert a couple shots. I thought we had some good looks, but we just couldn't convert."
Goals: F—Mosketti 6, Laubach 4, Christ, Wright, Nolan; WM—Artuso 3, Sy.Trentzsch 2, Maier 2, Sh.Trentzsch, Cyr. Assists: F—Mosketti, Nolan, Summers; WM—Sh.Trentzsch. Saves: F—Deckert 5; Wagner 5. WM—Lowe 4. Half: F 7-3.