In a battle of defending state champions, Fallston ran into Severna Park at the wrong time.
After losing to No. 7 Broadneck in its season opener earlier in the week, No. 6 Severna Park wanted to play better Saturday. The Falcons got their wish, using first-half goals from Adley Beairsto and Sam Slattery for a 2-0 victory over No. 14 Fallston in the Sally E. Nyborg Invitational at Roland Park.
Fallston won the Class 1A state title last year, and Severna Park was the champion in Class 4A. Both schools are among the most successful field hockey teams in state history, but this game belonged to Severna Park from the start.
"I think we were a little upset about Broadneck," Slattery said. "We wanted to come back, and we knew we could play better."
They did just that, giving new coach Ann Andrews her first victory. The Falcons outshot the Cougars, 21-1, and the final score might have been worse if Fallston goalie Sarah DiMaggio (20 saves) hadn't played so well.
The Falcons dominated play in the first half. They spent much of the first 25 minutes in the Fallston end and often right near DiMaggio and in the circle.
Beairsto scored the first goal, and Slattery added one on a rebound in front for the 2-0 lead 12 minutes into the game. Severna Park kept pushing and finding scoring chances, but Fallston hung on until halftime.
The Cougars were more effective in the second half, especially on defense. Fallston didn't permit as many easy chances, and DiMaggio made some good saves. The Cougars' only shot came with just under 10 minutes left in the game.
"We kind of let them dictate the ball in the first half," Fallston coach Maddie Palko said. "They made the adjustments and played much better in the second half."
In an earlier game, No. 10 Westminster scored twice in the second half for a 2-1 victory over Roland Park.
Natalie Shramko scored in the first minute for Roland Park, but Abby Cronin tied it in the first minute of the second half.
Ashley Martin gave Westminster the game-winning goal with about five minutes left in the game as the Owls outplayed the Reds in the second half.
"We had some words at halftime," Westminster coach Mary Rivera said with a smile.
The tournament, a fundraiser for lupus research, featured a round-robin format with six teams each playing twice. Severna Park beat Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 4-0, in their second game, while Roland Park won, 3-2, over St. Stephen's and St. Agnes in overtime.
No. 6 Severna Park 2, No. 14 Fallston 0
Goals: SP-Beairsto, S. Slattery. Assists: SP-E. Slattery. Saves: SP-Mata 1; F-DiMaggio 20. Half: SP, 2-0.
No. 10 Westminster 2, Roland Park 1
Goals: W-Cronin, Martin. RP-Shramko. Assists: W-Buczkowski, Taylor. RP-Faust. Saves: W-Poisel 4; RP-Feinberg 9. Half: RP, 1-0.