The Dulaney girls field hockey team couldn’t have picked a better moment to score a goal off a penalty corner for the first time this season.
The visiting Lions were in a scoreless tie with Towson on Tuesday afternoon when sophomore Christine Lopez started the set play with a pass to senior Sara Sprinkel at the top of the circle.
Her line drive into the circle was re-directed into the goal by Sarah Schaeffler with 16:23 left in the second half for the only score of the Lions’ 1-0 victory.
“It was a crazy shot,” Towson senior goalie Meg Horan said. “It was just a lucky, really good goal and I think defensively, we do a lot of work, but I think we need to help our offense more up there.”
Sprinkel was just hoping to get another chance after her drive into the cage from the same spot outside the circle a few moments earlier was disallowed because no offensive players touched it.
“I was hoping to get a touch because we are working hard in there and eventually it will all come together and we’ll be getting goals, and goals and goals,” Sprinkel said.
The win improved the Lions record to 2-2, with wins over Maryvale and Towson sandwiched around one-goal losses to Mount Hebron and River Hill.
New Lion coach Kellie Fialcowitz was happy she stuck with Sprinkel, a top defender, at the point on the corners.
“She’s got a pretty consistent drive and shot and she seems to get the ball off pretty cleanly so I didn’t feel like we needed to mess with that today,” she said. “If we were getting a shot off, we just needed to finish. We were having a little problem finishing.”
Towson coach Holly West knows that feeling.
Although the Generals didn’t get a lot of shots around the circle, when they did, they often went wide.
“When you do get opportunities, you need to capitalize on them and we did not do that,” said West, whose squad is 1-3 with tough one-goal losses to Patterson Mill and Dulaney.
“It was the same kind of thing (against Patterson Mill),” she said. “We are breathing down their throat at the end of the game and we ran out of time.”
Towson’s best chances to tie the game against Dulaney came in the final two minutes.
Paige Burkett had a shot on goal and her pass to Maeve Lynch set up a penalty corner by Stephanie Jones that led to a shot by Maddie Tribbe that was rebuffed by Dulaney goalie Kalie Paranzino.
Seconds later, Lynch had another shot that got lost in the scrum and the Lions held on.
“As a senior I kind of realized this is our last chance to beat Dulaney and we all got a little lift up at the end,” Burkett said.
“They just wanted me to have a small heart attack,” said Fialcowitz, of the flurry in the final minute.
But the Lion defense of seniors Katie Boltz, Lauren Batlas and Emma O’Grady held steady down the stretch and silenced the Towson attack.
Towson goalie Horan made six saves in the second half and faced six more corners, but she wasn’t using the high humidity or fatigue as an excuse.
“We can’t get tired,” she said. “I understand we had so many corners down at the end, but I’m not going to get tired, I’m just going to do it over and over and over and just go all out and try my hardest.”