Patterson Mill High’s field hockey team knew it faced huge odds going into Saturday’s Class 1A state championship game against Pocomoke.
The Warriors from the eastern Shore are one of the great dynasties in Maryland high school athletics, winning the previous seven 1A state crowns. Patterson Mill is just a couple of years in as a varsity program.
The Huskies more than held their own against Pocomoke. But in the end, the Warriors’ streak lives on.
Pocomoke made it eight in a row with a 1-0 decision at Washington College. It’s the Warriors’ 18th state championship overall, second to only Severna Park’s 19.
Taylor West lofted a shot past Huskies’ goalie Gabby Brooks at the 19:31 mark of the second half for the game’s only goal.
“We communicated, dominated, but unfortunately made one mistake that cost us the game, one of the best we played all season,” said Brooks. “With weeks of preparation behind us, we were confident in ourselves and ready to win.”
In her final game, Brooks was again outstanding, stopping six shots, raising her season total to 163. Her counterpart, Derrian Matthews (two saves), matched Brooks as Patterson Mill (12-3-2) was shutout for the first time this season.
We gave it everything, we just could not finish today, but that’s something that usually is not a problem for us,” said Patterson Mill coach Shannon Troyer.
Pocomoke (17-2), in its 10th straight state Final Four, dictated play early. Brooks made a diving save on a shot by Kasey Tapman, and deflected away several others.
The Warriors finally broke through as West was able to get a shot by Brooks in a frantic sequence in front of goal. Minutes later, West rifled another shot but Brooks knocked the ball away.
Tapman, one of eight seniors on the Pocomoke roster, tipped her hat to the Huskies.
“We knew they wanted to win this game, but we had to come out and show them that we wanted it even more,” Tapman said. “We knew it was our last game and we knew we had to give it everything we had or we’d go home not as a winner.”
Though Patterson Mill left Washington College empty-handed, Troyer said the Huskies can only grow.
“After today, we have more experience, and now we are familiar with the speed of play and what to expect for next year,” Troyer said. “We know we can win because we put up a great fight all game long.”