Dulaney finally took advantage of an extra-player opportunity when sophomore Emma Klein scored with 5:41 left in regulation to give the Lions a 1-0 victory over Catonsville in a field hockey showdown at Catonsville High School Wednesday.
The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the Comets (6-2).
Their only other loss was a 4-3 decision in double overtime to Howard County's Mt. Hebron in a pre-season tournament. Since then, Catonsville had outscored its opponents, 29-0, until Dulaney scored.
Dulaney's Klein broke through when she capitalized on the second five-minute major penalty of the second half. The Comets received yellow cards because they were inside of five yards when Dulaney (10-2) took a free hit.
"We just had a tiny bit of an advantage on them, so we were in front of them and the whole game they were getting to the ball really quickly, especially on corners," Klein said. "That flyer was really quick and finally we just found an opening and took advantage of it."
Catonsville didn't get many shooting opportunities because of the sturdy defense of Lions' juniors Emma O'Grady and Sarah Witty and senior Megan Wiehold.
"They've stopped so many dangerous situations this season," Fialcowitz said. "Catonsville is dangerous in the circle. I don't want to take that away from them, but our defense holds strong and they don't let much get by them."
Catonsville also got strong defensive play from juniors Emma Walsh, Elissa Presslein and Savannah Cheuvront in front of senior keeper Vanessa Tracy.
"Our defense is awesome," said coach Carrie Mckenna-Wilson, who got some midfield stops from sophomore Ashley Bates and senior Maddie Larson.
They led to some solid runs from sophomore forward Brittany Stevens, but they had trouble finding openings for Clark and Sweeney.
"They were two-manning our best player and we are used to that, so we knew if we were going to score we had to do quick passes," Mckenna-Wilson said.
The Comets' best scoring opportunity in the first half came just over four minutes into the game when Juliana Keagle forced a turnover and started a fastbreak with Clark and Sweeney that led to a penalty corner.
Sweeney fed the corner to Clark, but her shot was saved by keeper Kalie Paranzino and the rebound attempt by Sweeney was stopped by a defender.
Sweeney had scored the only goal two days earlier in the Comets' 1-0 triumph over Hereford.
"That felt so wonderful," Mckenna-Wilson said. "We have never beat them since I've been part of the program 4th year. I think 2007 was the last time Catonsville had beaten Hereford so that was a great victory."
Dulaney had lost to Hereford, 2-1, in overtime, so the Lions needed the win over Catonsville to stay in the Baltimore County championship game race.
Dulaney (5-1), Catonsville (4-1), Hereford (4-1), Towson (4-1) and Sparrows Point (4-1) have one league loss in the race for the two top spots to play in the championship game.
Klein said the loss to Hereford on Sept. 22 was motivation against Catonsville.
"It really got us pumped up. We knew we had to win this game to have a chance at counties," Klein said. "Hereford and Catonsville are really tough teams and we just had to capitalize on all our opportunities."
Dulaney's best chance in the first half came on a shot by freshman Reece Spann, but that was rejected by Tracy.