Riding the high of going toe-to-toe with an IAAM power in its previous game, Patterson Mill went another step Wednesday. The No. 14 Huskies upended defending Class 2A state champ and No. 7 Fallston, 2-0.
“I have never seen them play harder and with more heart and desire to win,” Huskies head coach Shannon Troyer said. “Fallston plays a clean game and just a well-respected game, and we know that they are always going to be a strong team to beat.”
Last week, Patterson Mill tied No. 9 Notre Dame Prep. The Huskies raised their level against Fallston, which has been the dominant force in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference.
In what was a highly competitive game, Patterson Mill (5-1-1 overall, 1-0 UCBAC Chesapeake) took advantage of two key scoring opportunities, both involving junior Emily Keesling, to put the defending UCBAC champ Cougars (4-4 overall) in an 0-2 hole in division play with only four games remaining.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Huskies midfielder Jaelyn Felts laced the ball towards the goal from outside the arc, but Keesling was just to the left of the goal and tapped the ball in for the 1-0 lead.
The second half was filled with Fallston offensive pressure, forcing Patterson Mill goalie Gabby Brooks to make some tough saves, finishing with 28. She needed help from a Mariel Castronova goal with Keesling assisting with two minutes to play.
“We had the first goal and it gave us a big lead, and throughout the second half we were up by one, but it wasn’t good enough, so once we got that second one we secured the win,” Keesling said.
Patterson Mill’s defense put together its best performance of the season with the dive and split-saving Brooks and aggressive play from sophomore Ronelle Bautista, junior Lauren West and senior Laura Valle. The unit battled numerous corners to keep the Cougars scoreless.
“The defense played their heart out the entire game,” Brooks said. “They wanted the ball out, and when they wanted it out, they got it out. Fallston definitely stepped it up in the second half, and if I don’t go out or those diving saves, it could go in.”
“I thought my girls played really hard,” said Fallston head coach Megan Grant, whose team has dropped two straight UCBAC games for the first time. “I thought they played great and just couldn’t finish.
“Their goalie, Gabby [Brooks], is a terrific goalie, and we just could not finish. I think that we need to use this and practice finishing. Practicing that will be a key before we roll into our next game.”
It doesn’t get easy for Fallston, which next plays No. 12 North Harford Oct. 8. Patterson Mill, unbeaten its last six decisions, has a quick turnaround and gets North Harford Friday.
“[This win] gives us a lot of confidence,” Troyer said. “We know that Fallston is a great team, so we know we can hang with any team out there. The girls will feel much more confident going into North Harford on Friday.”
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|Patterson Mill 2, Fallston 0|
Patterson Mill-Keesling, Castronova.
Patterson Mill-Felts, Keesling
Fallston-DiMaggio 4; Patterson Mill-Brooks 28.