By Sandra McKee, The Baltimore Sun
9:30 PM EST, November 5, 2012
Sparrows Point's first trip to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association field hockey state semifinals was a memorable one, but unfortunately for the Pointers it wasn't a winning one.
Crisfield won the game 2-0 Monday night at Broadneck, but Sparrows Point had a season to remember. .
The Pointers won their Baltimore County division for the second straight year, beat county rival Loch Raven for the first time and won their first 1A South Regional Championship.
"We will never forget this year," Sparrows Point coach Ashley Fishell-Shaffer told her team and at least 100 fans who had made the trip and gathered around the bleachers after the game. "It was the best season in Sparrow Points' history."
It was Crisfield, a town decimated by Hurricane Sandy last week and whose players returned to school for the first time Monday since the storm, that will move on to the state final against Fallston, which won the 1A North semifinal 2-1 in overtime against No. 12 Manchester Valley. The state final will be Saturday at Washington College.
Marisa Perfetti scored both goals for Fallston (12-7) .
Perfetti scored Fallston's first goal off an assist from Elizabeth Hebert with 12:07 left in the first half and then tried to defend that score through the second half. But Manchester Valley (11-3) kept the pressure on and with 5:47 to play senior forward Madison Boone broke through to tie the game at 1-1.
With 3:30 left in the first overtime, Perfetti got behind the Manchester Valley defense with Danielle McDiarmid and put the ball away.
Now Fallston has to prepare for Crisfield, who defeated top seeded Sparrows Point . The Crabbers played a different game from the one the Pointers are used to seeing. Their short, swift passing game demonstrated strong stick skills and their speed, cutting off angled passes, stymied the Pointers' attack.
The Crabbers,16-1 and the No. 1 seed in 1A East, allowed just three shots on goalie Naomi Barnes.
Brittani LaFollette, the Pointers' leading scorer who will play in both the Baltimore County All-Star game next Tuesday and the state All-Star game a week from Thursday — the only Sparrows Point player ever nominated to that game — broke away on a number of fast breaks, but Crisfield's defense cut her off every time.
Meanwhile, the Pointers' defense was constantly under pressure from the Crabbers in the first half, but toughened considerably in the second, pushing Crisfield farther from the goal.
Crisfield's senior forward Ashley Heath scored her team's first goal with 21:40 to play on a rebound after Sparrows Point goalie Franny Hearn had made a series of strong saves.
Hearn (eight saves on 21 shots) continued holding her own later, too. But she was put in jeopardy when her team's defense misplayed the ball directly to the front of the net along the goal line. It proved an easy tap in for Heath, who scored for the second time and put the Crabbers up 2-0 with 5:47 left in the first half.
"We worked really hard for everything we got this season," Hearn, the Sparrows Point goalie said. "We definitely deserved to be here and it was an honor."
Crisfield 2, Sparrows Point 0
Goals: C- Heath (2). Assists: Evans. Saves: C – Barnes 0; SP – Hearn 8. Halftime: Crisfield, 2-0.
Fallston 2, Manchester Valley 1 OT
Goals: F – Perfetti (2). MV - Boone. Assists: F – Hebert, DcDiarmid.. Saves: F- DiMaggio 3. MV – Durrant 10.
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