The third time was the charm for Fallston High School and coach Alice Puckett yesterday, as a goal by Stacey French earned a 1-0 victory over Bel Air in a meeting of unbeaten field hockey teams.
Although Fallston had won the two previous games between the two at home, the past two games at Bel Air had ended in ties.
The result pushed the No. 2 Cougars to 7-0-1 and dropped the No. 8 Bobcats to 6-1-1.
The only goal came 5:40 into the second half when French got a stick on the ball out of a scramble in front of the goal and shot it through a defender's legs. The ball deflected off goalkeeper Jessica McGreen and back Renee Polek stopped it, but she was in the cage at the time.
In an earlier situation, with McGreen away from the play, Polek had made a save.
"I thought we had more speed, and in a close game that usually is the difference," Puckett said. The Cougars were better offensively, forcing McGreen to make 12 saves, compared to four for Jenny Smith.
The winners also got excellent defensive play from Judy Simon and Jen Drabo (combined for 14 interceptions), plus Amy Bauersfeld and Julie Haire in the middle.
"I'm big on defense, and we did a much better job of not letting their players get open. We did leave girls open at Francis Scott Key [a 2-2 tie last month] and my players now know the result when that happens," Puckett said.
Fallston was missing two senior starters, as Pam Gauss was out of town and Daina Burton was sick.