Unbeaten Hereford (13-0) scored a goal in each half and relied on solid defense and midfield for a 2-1 victory over unranked Dulaney (9-6) in a spirited Baltimore County field hockey championship game at Lansdowne High Thursday night.
Senior Mary Claire Abbott scored on a penalty stroke 7:36 left in the first half and she assisted her twin sister, Caitlin, with 18:52 left in the second half for the game winner.
“I knew she was there,” Mary Claire Abbott said. “We tend to know where each other is on the field. It’s kind of like our twin telepathy, since we trust each other and I knew she was going to score that goal right after I hit it to her and she did a great job.”
“They do work very well together, but normally during game play they are not side-by-side, unless it’s a corner play, but they have managed to put quite a few goals together in tandem like that,” Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said.
Dulaney had tied the game at 1-1 on a goal by Sara Sprinkel with 4:05 left in the first half.
The goal stemmed from a penalty corner pass by Suzy Banister to Kati Williams.
Williams fed it into Sarah Schaeffler and she tapped it back to Sprinkel for the diagonal shot into the cage.
Hereford got strong midfield play from Shannon Martello and Lacey Aghazarian, and the defense of Kendra Herbenar, Caitlin Abbott, Sarah Smith, Samantha Janacek and goalie Jessie Lynch helped pitch a shutout the rest of the way.
Aghazarian, a co-captain with the Abott twins is the only senior who has been on the varsity for the past four county title because she was promoted to varsity as a freshman.
"She's a little fighter, Mundie said.
Dulaney got solid defense from seniors Noelle Buchko, Charlotte Meredith and Emily Eddington, but fell to the Bulls for the fourth straight year in the county title game.
“The defense was three strong seniors and they will definitely be missed for next year, but we are going to use them for every second of every game possible for the rest of the regional play,” Dulaney coach Kendra Zeller said. “They are doing a wonderful job working well together.”
The county title was Hereford’s fifth straight and 14th in the past 17 years.
Dulaney's last county championship came in 2006 and the seniors were hoping to get at least one county title.
"A lot of the seniors knew it was the last time they were going to play Dulaney so that was a good motivational factor," Zeller said.
“They give us their best because I know they are tired of losing this game to us and I can’t blame them,” Mundie said. “It’s a battle. It really could go either way and we’ve been fortunate to be on the winning side of it these last few years.”
Dulaney fought to the end and had a last chance penalty corner started by Banister that led to a shot into the circle by Sprinkel that was repelled and driven out by Janecek as the final horn sounded.
"They played us tough and they took us out of our game a little bit so it was a really difficult game," Mundie said. "We were very fortunate to get those two goals for sure."