The Fallston Cougars girls soccer team set the tone early Tuesday in its Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game against visiting Patterson Mill.
The Cougars (3-0-1) scored just three-and-a-half minutes into the game and were never threatened, winning 3-0 over the Huskies (4-2).
Harford Tech was also in the win column, while Bel Air and C. Milton Wright played to a scoreless tie.
In Fallston, after a couple headers toward goal that weren’t too hard to defend in the opening minutes, the Cougars went back to it to open the scoring.
Senior Kennedy Mendoza controlled a ball on the right sideline and sent a long cross to the far side of the goal.
Kendall Donna, also a senior, was there to place a perfect header into the net.
“It starts with possession and it just gets outside to the wide and someone’s got to make that run up and get past all the defenders and get a good shot off their foot into the middle of the box,” Donna said. “Someone on the other side has got to be in the right place at the right time and get their head where it needs to be and that just happened to be me today.”
Nearly 10 minutes later Mendoza was on the receiving end of a Ellie Ajello cross, but the ball was a tad too, high.
Eight minutes later, though, Ajello didn’t need a cross.
The junior forward took advantage of the Huskies’ inability to clear the ball. Ajello collected the ball near the top of the 18-yard box, turned and hit a hard shot easily past Huskies keeper Caitlyn Welker.
The Cougars had a couple more good chances in the half, but the lead at intermission was 2-0.
The Huskies, who are small in numbers and young in experience, were without two senior captains. Izzy Toni sat out under concussion protocol and Allie Wysong is lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Huskies coach Mike Parker knows those two are missed, but also recognized what his team was up against.
“I was proud of the girl’s effort, we’re down to two subs,” Parker said. “The girls that played, they played hard. A few opportunities, not many, it was pretty defensive. Overall, the girls that played put forth the effort. It was hard to get something going and they’re a good team.”
The Huskies’ best chances came on a corner kick two minutes into the second half and a hard shot roughly 20 minutes later.
Unfortunately, the corner kick went untouched across the front of the goal and the hard shot, taken by Maya Pantazelos, sailed just high over the crossbar.
The Cougars, meanwhile, added the third goal between the two Huskies chances. Mendoza ran down the ball from Donna in the corner.
Mendoza worked the ball back a bit and then in toward the box, where she unleashed a head-high shot into the goal from just inside the 18.
“We were also missing three starters for us as well, but we like to train our girls and how we like to do during practice, is that we want to be a team of multiple offensive threats,” Cougars coach Madison Ferrara said.
Cougars goalie Jillian Crawford did make one save, while Welker finished with nine saves for the Huskies.
Harford Tech 2, North Harford 1
The visiting Cobras (2-0-1) took advantage of a Hawks (1-2-1) own goal that was the deciding score in UCBAC play.
Hope Gabriel netted the Cobras’ first goal and the own goal was assisted by Mallory Monroe.
The Hawks’ goal was scored in the final minute by Ava Lewis.
Tech keeper Abi Marcelo had seven saves and Hawks keeper Evie Heinlein made three saves.
Bel Air 0, C. Milton Wright 0 2OT
The Bobcats (3-0-2) and host Mustangs (1-2-2) played 100 minutes in a scoreless UCBAC game.
Kaitlyn Williford had six saves for CMW and Bel Air goalie Emily McGrain registered 13 saves.
Elkton 6, Aberdeen 2.
The Eagles (0-3) got a pair of goals from Jenna Stevens, but the visiting Elks were just too much in the UCBAC game.
Abby Barker and Sasha Pazoki had assists for the Eagles and keeper Rachel Anderson had 21 saves.