Hereford sophomore midfielder Emily Endres spent the early part of the first half just hanging out at the left post of the Dulaney field hockey goal.
Endres kept her cool when the ball came her way, scoring twice within seven minutes as the charged-up Bulls went on to dominate the Lions for a 4-0 victory in the Baltimore County championship game Thursday night at Woodlawn High.
The title meant a lot to the Bulls, who failed to appear in the game last year after winning five straight county titles from 2008-2012.
“When you have a year when you don’t make it, you realize how much you miss it,” Hereford first-year coach Caitlin MacKenzie said. “They just had more motivation to make it this year and make sure we had a successful season.”
Hereford controlled the ball early against the defending champion Lions (12-2), racking up five penalty corners in the first seven minutes to put heavy pressure on a defense anchored by Emma O’Grady, Sarah Witty and Megan Wienhold.
Hereford converted on the last one in that span.
Endres took a crossing pass from Emma Reider and slapped the ball past senior goalie Kalie Paranzino with 23:14 remaining.
“We came out ready to win,” MacKenzie said. “The first 10 minutes of the game, we dominated. It just set the tone and momentum for the rest of the game.”
The Bulls, who held an advantage in shots (10-3) and penalty corners (12-7), boosted their lead to 2-0 about six minutes later on another penalty corner when Endres redirected Haley Jolly's booming shot into the left corner.
It was her third goal of the season.
“She was in the right place in the right and knew what to do,” MacKenzie said of Endres. “Both times. It was great.”
Hereford continued to pressure Dulaney early in the second half.
Paranzino (7 saves) stopped Mahggie Gutberlet’s shot, but Emma Reider knocked in the rebound three minutes into play.
Emily Palumbo pushed Hereford’s advantage to 4-0 with 18 minutes remaining.
Palumbo was given a penalty shot after Paranzino covered the ball. Palumbo converted it by beating the goalie between her pads.
“We started slow and got two goals down,” Dulaney coach Kellie Fialcowitz said. “That’s hard to recover from. Hereford outhustled us and beat us to the ball. Hereford is a good team. I won’t take that away from them. It just didn’t happen for us today.”