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Fallston girls soccer advances to state semifinals with 5-0 win over Bo Manor

Fallston's goal scorers are, from left, Kendall Donna, Katherine King, Rachel Johnson, Ava Lambros and Kennedy Mendoza.
Fallston's goal scorers are, from left, Kendall Donna, Katherine King, Rachel Johnson, Ava Lambros and Kennedy Mendoza. (Randy McRoberts)

The Fallston girls soccer team is moving on to next week’s state semifinals after its 5-0 win Saturday over visiting Bo Manor in a Class 1A state quarterfinal.

The Cougars will meet CMIT North at Northeast-AA High School, Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a 1A state semifinal.

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“It’s exciting with the win today, but not done yet,” Cougars coach Madison Ferrara said. “Still have a couple more to go, so might have another Saturday morning game next week. Hopefully, we learned from this one and now we know going forward, we’ve got to start right from the get-go or show up a lot earlier to start our warmups.”

Fallston did get off to a bit of a slow start. Two early offsides calls thwarted scoring chances, but with 23:42 left, senior back Rachel Johnson broke the ice.

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Johnson ripped a shot on goal from 30 yards out and it seemed as if Eagles goalie Mickey Mills made the save. But the ball bounced off her hands and slipped behind her. Mills tried to keep the ball from crossing the goal line, but after a slight delay, the referee declared that the ball did cross the line for a goal.

Bo Manor had its first scoring chance with 10 minutes left in the opening half, but Cougars senior goalie Jillian Crawford made a sliding stop at the edge of the box to end the run.

The Eagles also had a direct kick from Ella Cook with six minutes left, but Crawford easily made the save, her first of four.

Junior Ellie Ajello tried to give Fallston a two-goal lead, but her shot found the outside of the post with two minutes to play in the half.

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The Cougars went right to work in the second half. In the opening minute, Ajello took a feed from junior Katherine King, but Mills made a nice save on her shot and then snagged a cross that might have led to another shot.

Four minutes later, senior Kennedy Mendoza sent a feed to Ajello, but this time her shot missed just high.

In the next minute, Mendoza passed to senior Gabby Boyd, but her shot, too, was saved by Mills.

Weathering the potential storm, Bo Manor found some offense and earned a direct kick from 35 yards, but Belle Boone’s shot was saved by Crawford.

Fallston quickly moved back down the field and King lofted a ball over the defense for Mendoza. The speedster beat the defense to the ball, made a dribble and then scored past Mills for a 2-0 lead.

“At halftime we talked about how they’re playing a flat four in the back, which it means, you send balls over,” King said. “So, my only goal was to hit the ball over, just keep hitting them over, because I knew eventually we’d get one. I saw Kennedy [Mendoza] on the far left, just chipped it over and whelp, she scored. That was the game plan the whole time and it worked, so, I’m pretty happy about that.”

The goal opened the floodgates for three more to follow. With 25:22 left, King sent a corner kick to the front of the net, and Kendall Donna headed the ball in for a 3-0 lead.

King then scored her own goal on another corner kick. Freshman Sydney Grafton sent the ball in and King walked it into the net with 16:55 to play.

“My favorite move is the, to pretend I’m not going to the ball, and then I just waltzed right around [the defender],” King said. “Sydney Grafton gave a great ball right over the goalie, all I had to do is tap it in.”

Bo Manor’s best scoring chance came six minutes earlier from a pair of sophomores. Addie Sample sent a cross to Briana Poullard as they entered the box, but Poullard’s shot went wide right.

The last scoring chance for the Eagles came with 14 minutes remaining. A hand-ball infraction gave Bo Manor a free kick from 30 yards, but again, Crawford made a save.

The Cougars hurried the ball back down the field, as sophomore Ava Lambros raced down the right and sent a high shot just over Mills with 13:15 left for a 5-0 lead.

Mills finished with seven saves.

“We definitely had a game plan, we know how good they are and we wanted to respect their ability,” Eagles coach Lissy Dean said. “So, we had a game plan to kind of pack it in and stay with them as long as possible. I hope they go far because they are a good team. I hope to lose to the state champs.”

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