It had been two weeks since Francis Scott Key played a game, with the Eagles received first- and second-round byes in the Class 1A West playoffs, before Wednesday’s Region 1 final against Catoctin.
The Eagles used a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season and outscored those opponents by a combined 36-1 to stay hot. Those byes set up a rematch Wednesday with the Cougars, and the Eagles defeated the Cougars 13-0 to advance to the state quarterfinals.
FSK rolled past the Cougars 15-0 on Sept. 10, the second of nine shutouts the Eagles have posted this fall.
“This year we’ve really focused on moving as a unit and as a team and the idea that everyone on the field has a job,” Faith Haines said. “When we do it all together, that’s how we can win. We really work on being first to the ball because first to the ball wins and it’s our motto this year, so that’s something we’ve really been putting in all these games at the end of the season.
“It’s been showing and it works because we’ve been winning. It’s really cool.”
Haines scored six goals, Jordan Blizzard scored three in a row, and Rachel Wright scored twice and notched two assists for the Eagles (10-3).
Three different players scored for FSK in a 2-minute, 16-second span to start the Eagles’ run, and they never looked back. The Eagles took three penalty corner chances before Blizzard, a junior, scored her three goals in about 3 minutes to put the Eagles up 6-0.
Haines was awarded a penalty stroke with under 6 minutes to go, and the stroke gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead, and they led 9-0 at the half. Kayla Seller also scored twice in the rout.
FSK coach Lori Knights said her team is well-rounded and opponents often run into trouble when trying to mark them because of the Eagles’ evenly distributed talent.
“The biggest thing they’ve been doing that I think they do well is they do a lot of one-touch, they control and move the ball,” Knights said. “We’ve conditioned like crazy this year because during our regular season we only had three subs on varsity so they had to condition, they had to go 60 minutes, and I think they’re able to do those one-touch passes and get up the field where they need to be.”
FSK got four more goals in the second half, with two coming from Haines. The Eagles notched 12 penalty-corner chances against the Cougars.
“We’ve been doing a lot of give-and-go’s, talking and getting to our spots,” Blizzard said.
Catoctin (2-10-1) defeated Brunswick 2-0 to set up Wednesday’s contest against Francis Scott Key. The Cougars notched 14 saves in goal, and had one penalty corner opportunity.
Francis Scott Key has outscored its opponents 72-9 this fall, and the Eagles are on a seven-game winning streak. The eight region champions will be re-seeded in the state quarterfinals based on regular-season winning percentage.
“They’ve done a really good job just playing together,” Knights said. “They’ve grown each game throughout the season from the beginning to the end and keeping the excitement and the togetherness is great. There’s a chemistry in this team that I haven’t seen in years, so it’s nice.”