A tied first half and two incredibly tight defenses had the fans at C. Milton Wright High School anticipating an overtime game against the No. 20 Fallston Cougars, Monday, but late game heroics would see the No. 6 Mustangs one-up their foes, 2-1.

With five minutes left in the game, it seemed as though neither C. Milton (9-1-1, 5-0) nor Fallston (6-3, 1-2) were going to be able to break the 1-1 tie the two teams had set in the first half, but that was before the Mustangs’ senior captains Megan Will and Kellie McKinney made a possible play of the year.

Just inside the 75th minute, Will began pushing the ball up the right sideline, and, with her approach towards the goal pulling out the Cougar goalie, she dished the ball to a sliding McKinney for the game winner, 2-1, and clinched the 2010 Chesapeake Division Title.

“At that point in the game, it was just a heart goal,” McKinney explained.  “We were all tired, we were all ready, and we saw the ball come across and we were all just running.  The defenders were running, and, at that point, it was just slide and pray it goes in.

“It is a tough goal, but you just have to make sure you look. You’re looking at the player, you’re looking at the ball, and you don’t let the defender get to you.”

Fallston jumped out to a quick lead in the first half, seeing senior Sydney Blomquist launch a corner directly to the head of fellow senior Kaylie Yapps for the 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game, only to watch Mustang sophomore Megan Frailer post a goal at the midpoint of the first half for the 1-1 tie.

The game-winner came extremely late in the game after two spectacular defensive showings from both Fallston and C. Milton, both holding scoreless for 54 consecutive minutes.

“This year we lost our three starting backs and out starting goalie,” Fallston assistant coach Mark Hannahs said.  “Our whole back is sophomores or juniors.  [C. Milton] plays three up top, so we knew it was going to be battle, and they have two girls who are really quick up front.”

With those quick girls up front, C. Milton also plays four midfielders and leaves just three defenders to support their senior goalie, Jenna Bowen, but the trio of sophomores Kelsey Targarona, Abby Smucker and freshman Lauren Haggerty are all the support the Mustangs need.

Will“Our three in the back, we really rely on them,” C. Milton assistant coach Brent Ritz explained.  “We have been playing a 3-4-3 all year long, and that puts a whole lot of pressure just having three in the back.  [They] really stepped up for us matching up with their speed.”

With the division won, the C. Milton Wright Mustangs will turn their focus to an UCBAC Conference Championship Game against the winners of the Susquehanna Division, but first will have to battle North East, Wednesday.

The Mustangs also have a highly anticipated contest with the No. 5 John Carroll Patriots of the IAAM next Monday.

Fallston’s hopes at winning the division are now gone, but the Cougars have had post season success despite not taking the division before.

“We play throughout the whole year with the object being a state championship,” Hannahs said.  “Last year, about this time, we were 6-4 and ended up going 14-6 and winning the whole thing.”

Fallston will look to bounce back with a Wednesday match-up against North Harford, and still must face No. 16 Bel Air and No. 5 John Carroll before the end of the regular season.

C. Milton Wright 2, Fallston 1

FALL     1   0  —  1
CMW     1   1  —  2

Goals: C-Frailer, McKinney; F-Yapps
Assists: C-Haggerty, Will; F-Blomquist
Saves: C-Bowen 14; F-Weyant 13

(Click on the related links at the top to see video highlights and interviews)