The No. 9 Hereford field hockey team is off to a hot start this season, adding a victory against another ranked opponent on Wednesday to its record.
The Bulls defeated No. 14 Fallston 4-1 on Wednesday, improving to 2-0 on the season. Last week, they defeated No. 3 North Harford.
"North Harford knocked us out of the regional playoffs the last two years," Hereford senior Mary Claire Abbott said. "And last year Fallston took us to overtime before we won. We were ready to beat both of them."
Fallston (1-1) kept it close most of the way on Wednesday, but back-to- back goals late in the game gave Hereford a 4-1 victory at the Cougars home field.
Hereford has outscored its first two opponents 8-1 and managed the feat against teams loaded with talent. North Harford has nine starters back from its 3A state semifinalist team.
A year ago, Fallston won the 1A state championship.
Hereford is looking to distance itself from the disappointing ending to last season as the Bulls fell short of a championship.
"That didn't sit well with us," Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said, explaining her team's attitude this season.
The Bulls wasted little time on Wednesday, getting an early goal from Abbott and another from her sister, Caitlin.
"I think our readiness gave us a little jump to get that first goal," Mundie said. "And I'd like to keep the spirit we've got and use more of our depth and give the starters a little break."
Caitlin Abbott, the only returning starter on defense, did a strong job defensively and verbally, when her team was on the attack. The senior was the team's vocal leader, reminding them, "It's our ball. It's our ball!" every time Fallston made an attempt for possession and when a Fallston player did get the ball, Abbott's voice could be heard again, "Stop her! Stop her!"
Only Fallston senior midfielder Lindsay Summers broke through, on a corner play tapping the ball past Hereford goalie Jessie Lynch (8 saves) for her team's only goal. It kept the game interesting going in to halftime at, 2-1.
"I was pleased with our aggressiveness," Fallston coach Maddie Palko said. "Hereford has a strong program, but we put up a good fight. I've told my team if they come out and play better each time, I'll be happy and I know they have the tenacity and heart to pick themselves right back up."
9 Hereford 4, 14 Fallston 1
Goals: H- Mary Claire Abbott, Caitlin Abbott, Shannon Martello and Maddie Hoover; F - Lindsay Summers. Assists: H- MAbbott and Martello. Saves: H- Lynch 8; F- DiMaggio 19. Half: 2-1