There was only one word to describe the feeling of Fallston players during their state Class 3A semifinal against La Plata at Goucher College yesterday: Frustration.
During a brief span at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, the No. 2 Cougars (16-0) managed to jam two shots past goalkeeper Nicole Downs for a 2-0 victory.
Otherwise, it was either shoot and miss or shoot and have Downs kick the ball away. The winners finished with 35 shots and 10 penalty corners, and Downs was credited with 24 saves.
Where the Cougars dominated play in the offensive end, they let the Charles County team across midfield only a half-dozen times, and the Warriors got off no shots against a defense anchored by senior sweeper Carey Preston.
Fallston, which has moved up a classification since winning the Class 2A championship each of the past two years, will play Centennial (9-4-1) for the 3A title Saturday (2 p.m.) at Goucher.
In beating La Plata (10-5), the Harford County team stretched
its non-losing string to 46-0-2 over the last three seasons, and ran this season's goal differential to 51 and 1. The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the losers.
Carrie Grable, a senior link, had a part in both Fallston goals, as she assisted sophomore Danielle Marconi on the first one and scored the second off a cross from Rebekah Dorsey. It was Marconi's fourth goal of the year, and Grable's third.
"The longer we went without scoring, the more pressure I felt," Grable said. "We did everything but score there for awhile. On my goal, nobody was marking me, Becca got the ball to me, and I backhanded it in."
Winning coach Alice Puckett said of her team's relentless attack, "We came out very strong and controlled the game. After awhile, you could tell the other team was not going to be a threat offensively." The Warriors came in having scored 41 goals, 16 of them by senior Amy Kindle, but they had no answer for Fallston's speed and skills.
"They didn't stop the ball and then direct it; they just slapped at it," said Katie Wirth, a senior back who plays the middle as though she owns it.