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No. 15 Fallston boys soccer falls to Brunswick in overtime, 2-1, in Class 1A state championship

Fallston boys soccer players Mike Estremsky, background, and Ethan Salsa react after losing the Class 1A title in overtime to Brunswick at Loyola Maryland's Ridley Athletic Complex on Nov. 18, 2021.
Fallston boys soccer players Mike Estremsky, background, and Ethan Salsa react after losing the Class 1A title in overtime to Brunswick at Loyola Maryland's Ridley Athletic Complex on Nov. 18, 2021. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Brunswick junior Logan Malone scored twice Thursday night to lift the Railroaders over No. 15 Fallston, 2-1, in the Class 1A boys soccer state title game at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

Malone’s second goal, the game-winner, was scored with just six seconds left in the first overtime period.

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The Cougars, who had the better share of scoring chances, saw their season end at 13-5-1.

“We had our chances ... in the match, you know, if you don’t finish your opportunities, sometimes you regret those,” Cougars coach Christopher Hoover said. “Which is what we’re doing right now.”

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After a serious offensive run by the Railroaders (15-3-1) in the game’s opening minute, the Cougars had a decided advantage on offense.

Fallston took a 1-0 lead just under nine minutes into the game, as junior midfielder Ethan Salsa’s persistence led to a booming shot. Salsa beat two defenders to keep play alive just outside the 18-yard box, then moved to the right and unleashed a high, hard shot that went in just under the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Salsa had another chance, but his shot went high.

Eight minutes later, the Cougars thought they had increased their lead to 2-0, but a goal by Ian Wilson was nullified by an offsides call.

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Salsa created the chance. His shot was blocked some 5 yards away, but teammate Devin Reddel followed with a blast that Brunswick goalie Finn McGannon (11 saves) stopped. The ball bounced off McGannon’s hands and Wilson raced in and put it into the net, only to have the goal called off.

Shortly after, Malone tied the game. From 20 yards out, Malone, a left-footed player, sent a low shot toward the near post, where Falltson goalie Cason Donhaue (four saves) dove and tipped the ball but couldn’t keep it from going in.

The Cougars dominated play for much of the second half, but they just couldn’t capitalize.

There was a Salsa to Devin Reddel chance with 35 minutes left, and Christian Worthington added a shot five minutes later. Brendon Mudd fed Reddel in the following minute, but Reddel was just short of getting a shot off.

Midway through the second half, Derrick Otto sent a pass to Reddel, but that shot was also saved.

The Cougars continued to pressure, but the Railroaders wouldn’t break.

Reddel’s shot in the final minute led to perhaps McGannon’s finest save, or at least the most memorable for Salsa.

“That last one with Devin going down the right side, that keeper made a crazy save,” Salsa said. “That kind of like brought their even-tempo up.”

In overtime, Fallston had three real scoring chances over the first nine minutes. On the other end, the Cougars defense, which turned away several Brunswick runs, failed to get a good clear.

With the ball loose some 30 yards out, Brunswick junior Ricky Cicmanec corralled it, dribbled and found Malone, who slipped behind the nearest defender.

Donahue made a diving attempt to stop a low, right-footed shot toward the far post, but the ball went just too wide for the keeper.

“All I really remember is the ball coming in,” Malone said. “All I was thinking is to calm down, to just tuck it away. So I just kept my composure and I put it away.”

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