Bethesda-Chevy Chase forward Margaret Mulholland knew that the Barons already had a share of the state title locked up.
They had controlled possession against top-ranked Severna Park in last night's Maryland 3A final in College Park and held the Falcons without a penalty corner for all of regulation. All that was left to make the night complete was for Mulholland to score with no time left in the second overtime, lifting the Barons to a 2-1 win and a 13th state championship.
"We needed to finish it out. I knew we had a corner and I knew we had a chance," Mulholland said. "We had nothing to lose in this game, we put it all on the line and we came out the winners."
With no time left -- a game cannot end until the defense kills off a penalty corner -- Mulholland gathered the ball near the left post and powered a shot into the goal that set off the unlikely celebration.
A tie would have made the Barons (14-4) and Falcons (19-1) co-champions. Mulholland made sure that wasn't the case -- and in so doing avenged a 4-1 early-season loss to the Falcons and a 3-1 loss to Severna Park in last year's state final.
"Best win ever!" enthused Bethesda-Chevy Chase Coach Amy Wood, whose team battled injuries and growing pains before turning in a dominating performance last night. "I can't believe what this team went through and we're holding this big trophy."
Last night was the first time all season that the Falcons had faced such resistance. They scored a school-record 123 goals and allowed only six, but it was the final one that hurt the most.
"It is tough and it's tough for the girls too," said Severna Park Coach Lil Shelton, who has led her teams to 14 state titles since 1979. "They played the best that they could and B-CC, tonight, was the better team. Just tonight."
The Falcons never trailed until Mullholland's score. Freshman Hayley Rusch scored with 15 minutes 55 seconds left in the first half to give Severna Park a 1-0 lead.
That would hold until Shea Smith, who scored the overtime winner for the Barons in the state semifinals, evened the game with 2:52 left in regulation.
"Our defense was playing really well the entire time," said senior defender Katie Turner, who helped the Falcons kill off the first seven penalty corners they faced. "To keep it 1-0 for so long . . . that just says so much about our defense. It could have gone either way. "
Poolesville Falls in 1A Final
The expectations were a little bit different for this year for Poolesville. Reaching the Maryland 1A final was always the goal, but getting there with such an inexperienced team was going to be a challenge.
The challenge of beating their opponent, Pocomoke, last night in College Park proved to be too difficult as the Falcons fell, 3-0, in the final.
"No one expected us to be back to where we are this season," said Poolesville Coach Gina Grubb, whose team lost, 1-0, to the Warriors in last year's state final. "To end the season like this is heartbreaking."
Seasons always seem to end when these two teams play. Poolesville (10-3) has played Pokomoke (15-3) four straight years in the state tournament with the Falcons' only win coming in the 2002 semifinals.