Bel Air gets past Fallston, clinches tie for county title; Matta's goal in second OT wins it for Bobcats, 2-1; Girls soccer


Bel Air coach Bill Zimmerman says his team sometimes has trouble finishing its scoring chances. Last night against county-rival Fallston, however, the Bobcats finished enough to finish off the host Cougars.

In a game in which it outshot No. 8 Fallston, 14-4, Bel Air needed a goal by Leann Matta 39 seconds into the second sudden-death overtime period to score a 2-1 win, ensuring it at least a piece of its third straight Harford County title.

The Bobcats can win it outright with a win over Aberdeen on Monday.

"We have a hard time finishing sometimes, but when these two teams get together, anything goes," said Zimmerman. "Today, we were able to put a couple away."

Bel Air (9-3 overall, 6-0 in county) took its first lead with just over 33 minutes left in regulation when freshman Colby Bugda took control of a ball that bled through the defense, turned and sent a high-arching shot over the outstretched arms of goalie Kelly Mannion to make it 1-0.

Fallston (6-1-1, 5-1) didn't have many chances, but it did take advantage of one of its best to tie the game with 22: 28 left. Toni Tiburzi drove down the right side of the field toward the corner, shed her defender and, all alone, punched a shot over the head of goalie Lauren Wohl.

The score stayed that way through the end of regulation and the first of two 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods. Bel Air nearly won it with under a minute left in the first overtime, but Kristi Eyler's shot from 15 yards out sailed inches high and bounced off the upper crossbar.

In the second overtime, however, the Bobcats didn't let a golden opportunity slip by.

"Kristi Eyler had a nice cross. I couldn't finish it the first time, but the second time it was just all in there," said Matta. "We needed this."

This will be the third straight season that Bel Air's road to at least a share of the county title has passed through Fallston. Last season, the Bobcats beat the Cougars, 1-0, during the regular season to secure a county title and, 2-0, in the regional playoffs. In 1997, the two teams tied for the crown.

Pub Date: 10/12/99

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