No. 4 Fallston has waited a long time to turn the hat trick on its Howard County foes.
Yesterday, the Cougars needed almost every second of double overtime to slip past No. 6 Wilde Lake, 2-1, for their third straight win over a Howard County team.
The game-winner came from Jinae Szerensits on a ball from the right wing that skimmed off Wildecats sweeper Katie Douglas's head and just into the edge of the net with 19 seconds left in sudden-death double overtime.
"It's nice," said Fallston coach Nancy Ferguson. "This one especially because we were a little off our game. I told them, 'This is the character builder right here. You beat Oakland Mills handily and Hammond handily and you need one like this just to see what you're made out of.' "
The Cougars (3-0 overall, 0-0 league) came within five minutes of losing this one.
The rain that fell most of the game didn't help a Fallston offense that relies on its speed. The attack was out of sync, unable to finish despite a handful of good crossing passes and nine corner kicks during regulation.
Finally on a second surge after a corner kick, Courtney Benner kicked a scorching pass across in front of the
goal that Karen Tiedemann deflected in behind Wildecats keeper Tonya Dedmond (11 saves).
"We never let down and it showed through in the end," said Cougars striker Anjul Maheshwari. "Our second-half goal made us push a lot more, and I think that gave us a boost when we went into overtime."
Fallston had not allowed a goal in its first two games, but Wilde Lake (2-1, 0-0) ended the shutout hopes in the 14th minute. Freshman Amanda Berman gave the Wildecats the early lead on a feed from Lindsay Waxler.
The Wildecats nearly broke through again in the final minutes of the half when Waxler kicked a shot just over the post from the corner of the box.
Waxler, a senior midfielder, had another near miss midway through the second overtime. That time, she hit the post just over the head of Fallston keeper Emily Weibel (12 saves).
Wilde Lake coach Rick Wilson said the rain did not hurt one team more than the other.
"I think it nullified both of our strengths," said Wilson. "Fallston is very fast and in conditions like this, you're not going to be able to move very fast. Our strength is ball control and conditions like this nullify that too. "
Wilson didn't fault his defense for the loss or the game-winning goal.
"You can't blame anyone on that one," said Wilson. "In conditions like this, strange things are gonna happen."