The Fallston girls soccer team didn’t waste any time putting a stamp on its special season against Brunswick in Thursday’s Class 1A state title game.
In the opening minute, sophomore midfielder Ava Lambros took a feed from midfielder Katherine King, made one touch ahead to reach the penalty area and scored from 18 yards.
From there, the No. 7 Cougars played with the utmost confidence and, much like their entire playoff run, the goals kept coming in a 6-0 win over the Railroaders from Frederick County at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
The win is the 12th straight for the Cougars and brings home the program’s fifth state title, completing a 16-0-2 season filled with remarkable accomplishments. In five playoff wins coming out of the South region, Fallston scored 39 goals and yielded just one.
On Thursday, the Cougars were quick to show they were the better team in completing their biggest goal of the season.
“I was just so happy,” Lambros said of her opening goal. “It set the tone for the game after that and everybody was just real excited. I was particularly happy after I scored it. I think after that the energy just kept going up.”
The Cougars were opportunistic every time they were inside Brunswick’s penalty area in the first half to take a 3-0 lead at the break. After Lambros set the early tone, senior defender Emily Solomon scored with 18:46 to play in the half and junior forward Ellie Ajello made it 3-0 five minutes later by jumping on a loose ball in front after a corner kick.
The Cougars left no doubt with three goals in the first eight minutes of the second half. Ajello scored her second of the game, King added her team-best 14th to go with 31 assists and senior forward Kennedy Mendoza recorded her 12th of the season.
“I guess it was the energy and the team dynamic,” said Mendoza, one of 12 seniors on the team. “I think previous years it hasn’t been as strong, so this year it was nice to come to practice every day and see your best friends. It was amazing.”
Senior goalkeeper Jillian Crawford finished with three saves to record her 11th shutout.
A challenging regular season set up the Cougars’ postseason success. With 12 seniors — six who played varsity as freshmen — setting a firm foundation, they captured the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference’s Chesapeake Division with a 5-0-1 mark, closing league play Oct. 19 with a 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Bel Air, 1-0, in overtime to lock up the title.
Holding their own against the bigger schools they played during the regular season primed the Cougars for their roll through the Class 1A playoffs.
“It’s been a long season, but it’s been a great road,” first-year coach Madison Ferrara said. “We started at the beginning and set up a pretty tough schedule, so we played a lot of the 3A schools that even made really long runs in the state tournament themselves, so I think that preparation and setup in the schedule is kind of what really set us up for going into the regional and state finals well. As the games became more difficult and the girls were more physical and faster, we saw it in the regular season and were amply prepared.”
Goals: F — Lambros, Solomon, Ajello 2, King, Mendoza Assists: F — Lambros, King Saves: B — Williams 3, ; F — Crawford 2 Half: F, 3-0