For Bryn Mawr's No. 5 field hockey team, the early part of yesterday's game with No. 2 Fallston seemed a bit like the first few games of the season. The Mawrtians just could not score.
In the final 45 seconds of the first half, however, everything changed.
On Bryn Mawr's first shot of the game, Kaley Zaharris blasted the ball off the far post. The ricochet caught Fallston first-half goalie Siobhan Eustace off guard, soaring up behind her into the cage. The goal woke up the Mawrtians' offense and they went on to wrap up a 2-0 birthday present for coach Jeanette Budzik.
The Mawrtians (4-2) had begun to rebound from last week's 2-0 loss to then-No. 12 Archbishop Spalding by winning the tough North East Tournament in Cecil County Saturday.
"At the North East Tournament, we started scoring more," said forward Norris Novak, whose Mawrtians have scored five goals in their past three games after managing just one in their first three. "We changed the formation which pushed more into the attack and as we started scoring more, it got us going like this goal did."
For the Cougars, the loss was their first, coming on the heels of winning Centennial's tournament over the weekend. Fallston (4-1), winner of three of the past four state Class 3A titles, dominated the early going against the Mawrtians, who have won or shared five straight private schools crowns.
Kim Ziegler had one shot and another came out of a crowd with about 12:15 left in the first half. Mawrtians first-half goalie Rachel Kiselewich saved both.
The Cougars threatened again after the Mawrtians scored, but Jenn Redd made a stick save on the goal line with two seconds left to preserve the 1-0 lead going into halftime.
That would be the Cougars' last shot on goal, but they stayed in the game by holding off seven Bryn Mawr penalty corners in a 12-minute period through the middle of the half.
With about 3:30 left, Stephanie Coyne took a shot that caromed off Cougars goalie Maddie Goetz, who tried to smother it. Novak got into a standoff with a Fallston defender, but Coyne finally flicked the ball over that defender's stick into the cage.