Overlea coach Lynda Slyder still had something to smil about after her team fell to Fallston, 18-8, in a Class 2A-1A, Region III girls semifinal playoff game yesterday.
Her nieces, Cindy and Courtney Jenkins, played for the winning team.
"It was neat because this was the only time that this could happen -- Cindy being there as a senior and Courtney there as a sophomore," said Slyder, "and this is the farthest my team has ever gotten [in regional playoffs]. It was a win-win situation for me."
Slyder gave her nieces their first lacrosse sticks and it came back to haunt her yesterday. Both Cindy, a veteran, and Courtney, who moved up from JV for the playoffs, played strong defense. Cindy also scored two goals.
"I beat her at her own game," said Cindy with a wry grin.
For Fallston (10-2), the victory maintains a perfect record in the 2A-1A, Region III playoffs over the past four years. Since official state lacrosse championships were introduced in 1990, the Cougars have made it to the final four every year.
Yesterday, the Cougars never trailed, but they couldn't shake the Falcons until late in the first half.
Julie Haire and Daina Burton combined for the Cougars' first four goals. Haire scored two and fed Burton for two more.
Lisa Gielner and Aisha Eversley kept the Falcons (8-6) within two early. Tracy Senft rolled the crease to cut the lead to 4-3 midway through the half. But that was as close as Overlea would get.
Once the Cougars started scooping up the ground balls and connecting on their passes, the Falcons could not keep up.
Four straight assisted goals boosted Fallston's lead to 8-3 with 4:24 left before halftime. Burton, Jodi Taylor, Lisa Taylor and Kathleen Turk assisted on goals by Jenny Weber, Courtney Benner and Cindy Jenkins (two).
"They have nice, direct passing," said Slyder. "They pass ahead and they move through the ball. We tend to stop."
Fallston dominated the rest of the way outshooting Overlea, 47-17, in the game.
Overlea rallied briefly in the second half when Lisa Gielner scored back-to-back goals to pull within 12-6. Fallston answered with five straight goals.
Haire led Fallston with four goals and three assists, and Burton and Jenny Haslbeck added three goals each. Cindy Jenkins and Anne West had two and Weber, Benner, Lisa Taylor and Jodi Taylor added one each.
Falcons' starting keeper Amanda Rose helped keep it close early and left the game late in the second half with 17 saves.
Gielner led the Falcons' attack with three goals. Eversley had two and Senft, Tina Wasowicz and Carley Shiflett added single goals.