Dulaney came into the Baltimore County boys championship game with an 0-2 record against Hereford and had averaged just two goal per game against the Bulls' tough defense.
Unfortunately for the Lions, only their record changed against Hereford after the Bulls scored the game's final seven goals on the way to a strong 11-2 victory — their 14th straight — on Saturday at Franklin.
"Dulaney had a good game plan," Hereford coach Brian King said after his team earned county laurels for the fifth consecutive season. "We had to be sharp, patient and smart."
Dulaney (11-4) scored a moral victory by staying even with Hereford after the first quarter and only trailed, 3-1, at the half, primarily using a possession offense predicated on lots of passing and few shots.
The Bulls (14-1) struck first on the first of a game-high four goals by senior midfielder Morgan Pritchett before sophomore attackman Joe Fingles answered for the Lions. Pritchett and junior midfielder Jack Adams scored back-to-back late in the second period to give Hereford its halftime advantage.
When Fingles notched his second goal to answer another goal by Adams earlier in the third period, Dulaney was only down, 4-2.
Slowly, however, the Bulls started to break down the Lions' defense while its own backline was as strong as ever.
Sophomore attackman Jason Ashwood made it 5-2, opening a floodgate of goals by senior attackman Freddy Bryant, sophomore midfielder Adam Ceribelli, junior attackman Ryan Jones and Pritchett to put even more pressure on Dulaney's offense.
When the Lions did try to mount a counterattack, Hereford defenders Joe Shaffer, Ted Demiris, Kemp Ensor, Austin Brown, Will Bittner, Josh Reider and Eli Hess were locking down Lion shooters in front of sophomore goalie Brock Turnbaugh.
"We were always on our toes," Brown said about the Lions' slow-down tactics. "Once we got our second slide, they couldn't finish. We played all-around good team defense. It was one of our better games of the year."
Dulaney coach Kyle Fiat was happy with the pace — if not the production — of the Lions' offense.
"If you're not scoring goals against a quality team like Hereford, your defense can only hold on for so long," he said.
Goals: (Dul) - Fingles 2; (Her) - Adams 2, Ashwood 2, Bryant 1, Pritchett 4, Ceribelli 1, Jones 1.
Assists: (Dul) - Bonolis 1, Colegrove 1; (Her) - Adams 1, Bryant 1, Greene 1, Seider 1.
Saves: (Dul) - Stansbury 7; (Her) - Turnbaugh 9.
Half: (Her) 3-1Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun