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Calvert girls soccer loses in final seconds of Class 2A state semifinal

Fallston 1, Calvert 0

Fallston 0 1 Calvert 0 0Goal: Fallston (Gasior)Saves: Fallston (Reilly 5); Calvert (King 4)

By AJ MASON

Staff writer

BEL AIR The final seconds of any contest can be critical.

In Friday night’s Class 2A girls soccer state semifinal girls soccer contest, it came down to the final seconds of regulation between Calvert and Fallston of Harford County at Harford County’s Bel Air High School.

While following up on her own corner kick, Fallston sophomore defender Logan Gasior directed a shot on goal from the right side.

The ball then struck the inside of the far post and bounced back along the goal line, before bouncing off a Calvert defender into the back of the net past senior goalkeeper Rachel King (4 saves) with only three seconds left on the clock.

“I was very surprised. As soon as I kicked it, I didn't think it was going in,” Gasior said. “I turned around to get back, but it did go in. I just saw the time running down and I just took a shot, hoping someone would finish it.”

Calvert (12-2-2 overall) would not have a chance to respond as time expired and Fallston, the 2A East Region champions, escaped with the 1-0 victory.

The Cavaliers and head coach Dawn Lister were left it in heartbreak mode and had hopes of reaching its first-ever state championship, but came up just short.

“I felt Rachel had her hands on it, but she just couldn’t get to it, it’s nothing you can do,” Lister said. “I thought we were going to overtime. We had some chances to score throughout the game we just couldn’t convert. Fallston is a good team and they were able to pull it out.”

Up until the game-deciding goal, both teams various chances throughout the contest, but shots went wide or hit the crossbar.

“We were just looking to settle it and thought it was going to PKs,” said Fallston head coach Mark Hannahs, whose team won the state title in 2009 and is 15-2-2 this season. “But hey we will take it. Calvert has a great team and they had some chances that I thought were going through the net. This whole year we snuck under the radar and just kept on plugging along.”

“It was an amazing end to the game,” Fallston senior sweeper Marissa Walker said. “I’m glad the shot went in, I couldn’t believe it. Their forwards were really skilled and fast, our defense did a good job of anticipating the ball and just stepped up when they needed to.”

Calvert senior striker Megen Jackson, an all-state first-team selection, had a few scoring opportunities at the net with her best chance coming off her foot 11 minutes into the second half. Jackson ripped a shot from 30 yards out that beat Fallston junior goalie Kayla Reilly (5 saves), but the right post kept the ball out of the goal.

“Losing in the end was very heartbreaking for us,” said Jackson, who finished with 23 goals and three assists for the season and will continue her career at Salisbury University. “For us to get to this point and work hard all season and lose on a goal like, that was tough. But I couldn’t be more proud of my team, it was a great season.”

Fallston kept Jackson’s sophomore teammates Ali Higgs (13 goals, 11 assists) and Hailey Williams (12 goals, 21 assists) at bay for most of the contest and had major backline defensive support.

“No. 16 [Higgs] was really fast and we knew she was tough, Calvert had some scorers we just wanted to limit their opportunities,” Hannahs said. “I’m ecstatic that were able to win and advance.”

Calvert, which defeated Southern of Anne Arundel County last Tuesday for the 2A South Region championship, yielded only eight goals all season.

“The girls played hard all season and they have nothing to hang their heads about,” Lister said. “I’m proud of all of our achievements. I wish we could’ve advanced, but things happen.”

ajmason@somdnews.com