Stephanie Asher scored the tiebreaking goal in the second half, but Christy Bishop truly saved the Glenelg field hockey team Monday night.
Bishop made a number of big plays and finished with 12 saves to help No. 1 Glenelg hang on for a 2-1 victory over No. 8 Fallston in a Class 2A state semifinal at Franklin.
Glenelg (18-1) advances to the state final Saturday against No. 6 Century at Washington College at 6:30 p.m. Century edged Kent Island, 1-0, in the other semifinal at Franklin. Both winners will be looking for their first state title.
Glenelg hadn't been in many close games this season as the Gladiators' offense crushed most opponents. But Fallston (12-6) wasn't intimidated; the Cougars had won state titles in each of the past three seasons -- Class 3A in 2007 and 2008, Class 2A last year.
Fallston came out firing and never let up. The Cougars held a 13-4 advantage in shots and repeatedly got the ball into the Glenelg circle and made Bishop work. The senior goalie made a number of big saves, especially early, when Fallston threatened to jump in front.
"Christy's been a great goalie for us," Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said. "I wanted to see her finish strong."
But even though the Cougars had several scoring chances in the opening minutes, it was Glenelg that took a 1-0 lead when Alyssa Parker scored with 1:15 left in the first half. Fallston nearly tied it in the final 10 seconds when a ball skipped by Bishop, but the Gladiators cleared it.
Fallston tied it at 1 on a bullet from Christina Conrad from the top of the circle 4:16 into the second half. But Glenelg slowly began to find chances, and the Gladiators broke the tie when Asher scored with 11:03 left.
Asher took a nice pass from Morgan Philie and put a shot past goalie Sarah DiMaggio (two saves) for the 2-1 lead. Bishop and Glenelg then needed to hold on as Fallston kept shooting throughout the final minutes.
"They were firing from everywhere," Bishop said. "That was intense."
Said Fallston coach Megan Grant: "I think it was one of the best high school field hockey games I've ever seen. I'm really proud of the girls."
No. 6 Century 1, Kent Island 0: Casey McCorkell scored in the first half to give the Knights the victory in the other semifinal.
Century has made the final three of the past four years.
1 Glenelg 2, 8 Fallston 1
Goals: F—Conrad; G—Parker, Asher. Assists: F—McDiarmid; G—Philie. Saves: F—DiMaggio 2, Bishop 12. Half: G, 1-0.