xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Katherine King scores overtime penalty kick as Fallston girls soccer edges Bel Air in battle of undefeated teams

Both the Fallston and Bel Air girls soccer teams navigated through their respective schedules unbeaten going into Tuesday’s showdown that would ultimately decide bragging rights in Harford County.

In the end, after neither team was budging midway into the second overtime, Fallston junior midfielder Katherine King had the opportunity for a breakthrough on her right foot.

Advertisement

She left no doubt.

After the Cougars were awarded a penalty kick with 4:23 left to play in the second 10-minute overtime, King hit a clean strike to the right corner to give the host Cougars a 1-0 win over Bel Air.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Fallston improves to 11-0-1 overall and stakes claim to the Harford County and Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference’s Chesapeake Division. Bel Air, which played valiantly throughout, falls for the first time to go to 9-1-3 on the season.

Just past the midway point of the second overtime, Fallston junior Alexandra Schromsky’s throw-in from the right side led Rachel Johnson into the penalty area, where she was fouled.

King, now 3-for-3 on penalty kicks this season, did the rest with her fifth goal.

“I’m pretty confident with them — we practice them every single day and the work was just shown right there.” She said. “I wasn’t nervous or anything. It was so great. I had a lot of family here tonight, so I was super excited they got to see it. I’m sure my dad was jumping for joy up there — it was a great feeling.”

Advertisement

The teams went back and forth with quality possession time, but the two defenses were up to every challenge deep into overtime. The Cougars had the best chance to win in regulation when Elizabeth Ajello’s left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area hit the crossbar and was promptly cleared. For the Bobcats, junior midfielder Payton Todd had a free-kick from 25 yards sail just over the crossbar in the first half.

“The beauty of the game was there were times when we were on our game and going with the flow, playing with good possession. And there were times when Bel Air was doing the same,” said Fallston coach Madison Ferrara. “So this game was very back and forth and, to be honest, I don’t know if anybody knew what the outcome would be. But at the end, we got that foul in the box and Katherine King put it away. That’s her specialty. We’ve practiced PKs from Day 1 and she’s the person that, when put in that position, keeps her composure. She knows she has a job to do and no matter the pressure, she puts it away.”

Fallston goalkeeper Jillian Crawford finished with six saves to record the win, getting a cohesive effort from her defense led by center back Hannah Richard.

“It’s our senior night, so we were super excited and pumped,” said King. “Every senior wanted to win tonight and I just wanted to be a part of it, too.  It was great energy tonight.  We had so many people come out and Bel Air showed a great fight, too.”

Fallston's Katherine King, left, battles Bel Air's Keira Loewe, right, for the ball in the first half on Tuesday night. King scored the game-winning goal in double overtime.
Fallston's Katherine King, left, battles Bel Air's Keira Loewe, right, for the ball in the first half on Tuesday night. King scored the game-winning goal in double overtime. (Kenneth K. Lam)

Bel Air coach Mike Friskey was disappointed by the outcome but applauded the efforts of both teams. The Bobcats got a strong performance from Todd and their defense also stayed organized with goalkeeper Emily McGrain finishing with five saves.

“It was a great match,” Friskey said. “Fallston has a lot of skill, a lot of speed and it really was fun to watch as a coach. It’s almost like you become a fan sometimes when you’re watching a game like that.

“The back and forth pace was great. It was physical but not dirty, so it was a high-quality soccer match.”

Still, Friskey said he was disappointed and his girls were frustrated the game was decided on a penalty.

“You give your all throughout the game and then to have it decided it on a penalty, but that’s out of our control and we just can focus on what we can as a team,” he said.

Both teams close out the regular season on Thursday with 6:45 p.m. games. Fallston will host Francis Scott Key, while Bel Air travels to North East.

Fallston 1, Bel Air 0 2OT

Goals: F — King

Saves: BA — McGrain 5; F — Crawford 6

Halftime: 0-0

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement