Hereford junior Payton Patrick had two assists and a goal as Hereford (8-5-1) rallied from a 1-0 first-half deficit with four unanswered goals in a 4-1 victory at host Catonsville (5-7).
Catonsville scored first when Kolby Weedon’s free kick into the box from 35 yards out was headed in the air by Lindsey Marshall and a charging Taylor Whalen, kicked it in with 14:02 left in the first half.
Weedon is a jack of all trades who can play anywhere.
“She is our defensive player that goes forward and can be a threat at both ends of the field and teams don’t expect that,” Catonsville coach Ricky Sanchez said. “Her services from the back have been key too.”
Hereford got the equalizer, thanks to the hard work of Patrick, who hustled to a ball that sailed across the box into the corner.
She turned up the end line and fed Rose Luba with six minutes left in the half.
“We were flat the whole first half and she (Patrick) picked us up and got us going there,” Hereford coach Brad Duvall said. “We did a good job of filling up the goal on those balls, but I just didn’t like the way we connected the ball from the middle of the field.”
Just over three minutes later, Patrick beat a defender down the left side and sent a cross to Emma Dunn, who deposited home.
Patrick was happy to contribute to the first goal, but two in the half was icing on the cake after the slow start.
“I think we weren’t connecting passes as well as we usually do, we couldn’t get it on the ground, but I think their goal was a good wakeup goal,” Patrick said.
Patrick almost made it 3-1 on a breakaway and shot with eight seconds left, but Catonsville goalie Adele Jones (nine saves) came out and stopped it with a diving foot save.
“Adele stepped up. She has been solid,” Sanchez said.
After several shots that were saved or off target, Patrick finally hit the mark with 4:03 left in the game on a left-footed shot and that relieved her scoring frustration.
“My left-footed shot was just not going in, it wasn’t as hard as it needed to be to get into that corner, but she (Jones) was really good and she was lengthy and she was able to reach and get those balls,” Patrick said.
Duvall was glad to see his top scorer connect.
“I think she’s got to relax a little bit and not put too much pressure on herself,” said Duvall, who finally took a deep breath after the Bulls got the two-goal lead. “I wasn’t comfortable until we got to three, then I felt pretty good about it because time is short and I didn’t see them getting two goals in the last few minutes.”
Catonsville’s Sanchez knew it was just a matter of time before Patrick connected for a score.
“You can only hope to contain her,” he said.
Laura Schmidt produced the final tally when her cross late in the game caromed off a Comet defender into the goal.