Hereford coach Anne Ensor was direct in the advice she gave to her players before they scored four straight goals early in the second half to take control on the way to 12-8 victory over Towson in the Baltimore County girls lacrosse championship game at Franklin High Saturday night.
The win gave the No. 8 Bulls their second straight title and fifth since 2009.
“We were spending too much time fooling around on the outside,” Ensor said of her halftime speech. “I said, ‘You have go to the goal because that goalie (junior Haley Hicklen) is good.’ Otherwise, if she gets a good look at it, she’s making that save.”
Hicklen played a strong game and finished with 11 saves, but Hereford midfielders Sarah Ashwood, Caroline May and Rachel Karwacki were especially tough on Towson’s defense and put on a passing and shooting clinic.
Ashwood, May and Karwacki scored three goals and May added three assists.
Hereford (14-0) accomplished something it never had done before in Ensor’s 17 years on the job -- an undefeated season through the county championship game.
“We really wanted it,” said Ashwood, a senior. “Coming into the season, I would have never guessed this would happen. I knew we had a great team, but there are so many good ones out there.”
Hereford built a 5-2 lead in the first 13 minutes as May scored two goals during that stretch.
Towson (10-2) made it 5-3 when senior midfielder Madeline Tribbe (team-high three goals) won the draw, sprinted down and beat goalie Cassidy Nozemack (nine saves) on a low shot with 11:48 remaining.
Tribbe added a goal about nine minutes later on a free position to make it 5-4 at halftime.
But Hereford put Towson away in the early part of the second half.
Sparked by two goals each from Karwacki and Ashwood, the Bulls went on a 4-0 run and extended their lead to 9-4.
“We need to play 50 full minutes,” Towson coach Jamie Giffuni said. “And until we play 50 full minutes, we will never get the outcome we want.”
Sophomore attacker Maggie Schneidereith contributed two goals for Towson.
No. 8 Hereford 12 Towson 8
Goals: H—Ashwood 3, May 3, Karwacki 3, Kotchenreuter, Katchmar, Kovinsky; Tribbe 3, M Schneidereith 2, Ryan, L Schneidereith, Ptak. Assists: H—May 3, Kotchenreuter. Saves: H—Nozemack 9; T—Hicklen 11. Half: H, 5-4.