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Fallston field hockey to play for 15th state title

From left, Fallston's Maddie Hurlbert, Kylie Ryan and Becky Street pile on Liz Hebert after Hebert scored the game winning goal in overtime, as the Cougars beat Pocomoke to advance to the state title game.
From left, Fallston's Maddie Hurlbert, Kylie Ryan and Becky Street pile on Liz Hebert after Hebert scored the game winning goal in overtime, as the Cougars beat Pocomoke to advance to the state title game. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)

Fallston's bid for a 15th state field hockey title is alive after the Cougars beat the Pocomoke Warriors, 2-1, in overtime Monday night in a Class 1A state semifinal at Broadneck High School in Annapolis.

The Cougars (10-7-1) will face North Carroll at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Class 1A state championship game at Washington College in Chestertown. North Carroll, the defending state champion, beat Loch Raven, 5-1, in Monday's first semifinal.

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In Fallston's win, senior Liz Hebert's goal with 6:22 left in overtime sent the Cougars to Saturday's title game.

Hebert's goal, her second of the game, was assisted by Becky Streett.

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"I think it's all about just pushing it, to like the hardest," Hebert said. "We've been working so hard the whole season and we wanted it. We knew when we all met up this morning, we wanted it, we wanted this game."

Hebert took the pass from Streett in front of the Warriors goal, turned the ball and shot a grounder past Pocomoke goalie D'Nasia Jones.

The winning goal was scored after Pocomoke (12-4) had two corner chances and a long hit in the first 1:30 of overtime.

As with much of the game, Cougars goalie Caitlin Phillips and defenders Maddie Hurlburt and Danielle Whiston defended those Pocomoke threats.

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Hebert had given Fallston a 1-0 lead late in the first half off a corner. The ball was played in and Kylie Ryan sent a waist high shot toward the goal. Hebert got a stick on the ball and deflected it past the goalie.

Pocomoke used a corner to even the score at the 3:41 mark, three minutes after Fallston's goal.

Peyton Becker played the ball to Dani Batze, who hit a hard, knee-high shot into goal past Phillips, the Fallston keeper.

Despite that shot, Phillips played a very aggressive, away from the goal, keeper position and finished with 19 combined saves and clears. Pocomoke goalie Jones finished with three saves.

"Amazing, we've come so far this year, it's just a pleasure to watch them grow, become a team," Cougars head coach Alice Puckett said after the win.

Puckett was pleased and excited by the individual play from Streett, goalie Phillips and Hurlburt on defense.

"I was very busy, they were a good team," Hurlburt said. "They had really hard shots and I thought they were going to sneak one by me, that last one. It was crazy, but I have my teammates. I love my team."

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