Severna Park senior Kim Kral scored in the final minute as the top-ranked Falcons survived their biggest scare of the season in a 3-2 victory over C.M. Wright in the Maryland 3A field hockey semifinals at South River.
"They ran into a little bump tonight, like a hiccup," said Falcons Coach Lillian Shelton, whose team (19-0) will play Bethesda-Chevy Chase for the second straight year in the title game Nov. 16 at the University of Maryland. "But they'll be tougher because of this."
With the score tied at 1 early in the second half, Mustangs midfielder Mary Waller tried to stuff the ball into the cage near the left post. After several swings, the official nearest the play ruled that Waller had scored, giving C.M. Wright (9-7-1) a 2-1 lead.
After Shelton argued, the two officials conferred and disallowed the goal. Following the game, the official farthest from the play explained that she overruled the original call, saying the ball crossed the end line to the side of the goal before being knocked back into play and into the goal.
Mustangs Coach Carla Harward vehemently disagreed with the call. "It wasn't across the end line," she said. "My video guy said that [a Severna Park defender] pushed the goal cage back, and then [the ball] was in the goal cage. That's what happened, and we have it on tape.
"We won that game 5-3. I'm sorry. My girls think it. They feel it. I know it. I think we totally outplayed them. But what are you going to do?"
B-CC Returns to 3A Final
Bethesda-Chevy Chase sophomore forward Shay Smith scored the game-winning goal in overtime for a 2-1 victory over Northern that sent the Barons to the Maryland 3A championship game.
"I knew I wasn't doing well at all," said Smith, who scored with 3 minutes 52 seconds to play in overtime at Howard High in Ellicott City. "I knew I had to score or do something really good."
Smith also scored the goal that put Bethesda-Chevy Chase ahead to stay Friday in the regional semifinals against Frederick.
B-CC (13-4) earned 24 penalty corners to Northern's three but managed just one score -- a shot to the side of the cage by Brittany Kayton. Yet the Barons created many scoring chances in overtime. "It was incredibly frustrating. I thought in the first half we should have scored three or four goals, and it was only 1-0," B-CC Coach Amy Wood said. "To Northern's credit, they out-hustled us. . . . [We kept] trying to force it and not really play hockey the way we want to play."
-- Ashton Williams
Whitman Makes 4A Final
With two big swings of her stick, Whitman senior midfielder Ellen O'Brien carried the Vikings to a 2-0 victory over Quince Orchard in the 4A semifinals at Severna Park.
With nine minutes left in a scoreless game, O'Brien took a pass from senior Jesse Crouch off a penalty corner, and her shot rocketed off her stick, ricocheting off a Quince Orchard player and into the goal.
Less than a minute later, O'Brien attempted another high-speed shot that hit the goalkeeper, and the rebound was put in the goal by senior Liz Cooper.
"They felt pretty good when I hit them," O'Brien said. "We knew we just had to go out and keep attacking, and if we kept doing that, the goals would go in eventually."
Quince Orchard (11-5-1) shared the state title in 2001 and lost in the state championship game last year. Whitman (11-5) won its ninth consecutive game and will aim for its first state title Monday at the University of Maryland, where the Vikings will play South River.
-- Sean P. Flynn
S. River Victorious in Semi
If she had a choice, South River's Alden Wicker said she'd spare the late-game heroics and opt for a comfortable lead.
The senior attacker scored the winner, and Shannon Long scored two more as part of a three-goal flurry in the final 7:50 as the Seahawks defeated Delaney, 3-1, in the Maryland 4A semifinals in Glen Burnie.
"It seems like we" score a lot at the end of games, Wicker said. "But I don't want it that way. I want it to be at the beginning and keep on going."
For a while, it seemed like a case of when -- not if -- South River would score its first goal, given the team's staggering 20-1 penalty corner advantage. But the Seahawks found themselves trailing after Delaney's Kristen Horsman scored off the Lions' lone penalty corner with 22:36 left.
South River broke through on three straight penalty corners, tying it with Long's goal by the left post before taking the lead with 4:42 left on Wicker's goal.
-- Andrew Levine