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Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

South Carroll girls soccer showcase resilience in state championship game loss to Fallston

The South Carroll girls soccer team knew it had a tough task trying to dethrone defending state champion Fallston in Saturday’s Class 1A final.

That task got even tougher when Fallston scored 23 seconds into the game.

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South Carroll ended up losing, 3-2, but from the early first goal to the heartbreaking final horn, the Cavaliers showed everyone they had the heart of champions.

South Carroll's Kylie Malone accepts her finalist medal after a 3-2 loss to Fallston in the Class 1A state championship game at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday. The Cavaliers fell behind in the game's first 23 seconds but rallied to take a halftime lead.

It would’ve been easy to accept it wasn’t their day and graciously accept the runner-up trophy. But that’s not the fighting spirit that put the Cavaliers in the final to begin with.

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It wasn’t quite as quick as Saturday, but South Carroll fell behind Loch Raven less than two minutes into its regional championship game, too. The Cavaliers rallied, tied the game before halftime and won it in the final minutes on a goal by Addyson Davis.

In the state semifinal against Allegany, South Carroll surrendered a tying goal late, but shook it off and came back in overtime to win on a game-winning goal from Kylie Malone.

South Carroll girls soccer coach Andrew Isacco accepts the finalist trophy following the team's 3-2 loss to Fallston in the Class 1A state championship game at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday.

So, while some might have seen Fallston’s goal 23 seconds into the game as a sign that it would be a long day, it just meant that the Cavaliers, who were .500 after the regular season, had one more chance to show how resilient they could be.

“Through the regular season, we got down often because we played really good teams,” senior midfielder Kylie Malone said. “We knew going into it, they were obviously seeded higher, so we knew that if we got scored on quick we couldn’t let down. We had to keep pushing because had chances to be in it.”

“After the first goal, obviously we were all upset they were able to score so quickly in the game,” goalie Dani Inglesby said, “but the strong thing is we were able to see that was a mistake and we could fix it and not do it again.

South Carroll found its answer roughly 15 minutes after falling behind. A free kick came into the box and Malone put it in the net, tying the score and sending a message that the Cavaliers were going to be around until the end.

“It let us know we could play with a team of that caliber,” South Carroll coach Andrew Isacco said.

Shortly after, South Carroll took the lead when it got the ball in the box and Fallston couldn’t clear it, and a Cougars defender headed it into the net for an own goal. South Carroll carried that 2-1 lead into halftime.

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“I think them scoring right away, obviously, is not the way we wanted to go, but I don’t think that brought us all the way down,” South Carroll senior defender Lauren Chesney said. “I think we picked up and got motivated again and then we went back out and scored twice.”

South Carroll goalkeeper Dani Inglesby, left, makes a save during Saturday's Class 1A state championship game against Fallston at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex.
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However, Fallston showed it could be resilient, too, as you’d expect from a group defending its title. The Cougars scored twice in the second half to win.

“I think we had a really strong mentality throughout the whole game,” Inglesby said. “Even when we got down we were able to pick each other up and tell each other how to get back.”

Inglesby wasn’t slated to be in the position. She was a reserve most of the season before suddenly being called upon to start during the state playoffs. She showed the poise of a seasoned veteran Saturday.

Even after surrendering the opening goal on a Fallston breakaway, Inglesby came back with a pair of spectacular saves to keep South Carroll in the game.

“I had to understand that if I had made a mistake, I couldn’t let myself get down on that,” she said. “I have to be able to pick myself up and keep pushing, and I had so much support from my entire team. When they found out I was going to be starting in goal, everyone kept telling me how they had no doubts. I believe throughout the whole year we’ve all been preparing. We were all strong enough.”

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Even though Saturday didn’t end up the way South Carroll hoped, the Cavaliers made a statement, showing everyone what championship teams are made of.

“I think the chemistry on the team really helps us a lot every single game,” Chesney said. “No matter if we win or lose, it’s our family and it’s awesome to be in the state final game no matter what.”


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