Dulaney rides defense and goal in each half to victory over Clarksburg in field hockey. (Craig Clary / BSMG)
Dulaney scored a goal in each half and the defense held Clarksburg scoreless as the Lions (18-1) advanced to the Class 4A state field hockey finals with a 2-0 victory over the Coyotes (15-2-1) in the semifinals at Broadneck High.
The victory sends the Lions to the state finals for the third time in school history.
They lost in the state semifinals the past three years.
“Them, getting past this game is big for so many reasons,” Dulaney coach Kellie Fialcowitz said. “Some of them have been here and they have been the ones crying at the end of it and they just weren’t going to do it and they didn’t quit.”
Senior attacker Reece Spann and senior defender Ellie Dreschler were the only ones on the varsity since they were freshmen.
Senior Casey O’Grady scored Dulaney’s first goal on a breakaway with 22:30 left in the first half.
“It was all a blur. It just came to me,” said O’Grady, who was surprised when she saw goalie Jamie Fritz leave her mark. “That was an insane goal. I just want to keep it going into the next game.”
Dulaney freshman goalie Allie Mercer made five saves in the first half, including two in succession on shots by Brynn Foster and Chesna Bosnic late in the half.
“She [Mercer] did an excellent job and as a freshman, you’ve got to give it to her, she stays calm, she gets it out, she’s got a great defense in front of her which is extremely calm and patient and they have a lot of confidence in her and she has a lot of confidence in them,” Fialcowitz said. “I’m just really proud of her.”
Mercer got defensive help from the back line of Lydia Naughton, Mae Dickens and Erin Hill and midfielders Sidney Snyder and Bridget Kelly.
Bridget Kelly, a sophomore, watched her older sister, Maggie Kelly, score the Lions second goal with 22:19 left in the second half when she redirected a long drive sent in to the box by O’Grady, who will play Division I lacrosse next year at the University of Connecticut.
Maggie Kelly, who will play lacrosse at Lehigh University next year, had already played lacrosse with her younger sister in the spring, but is enjoying having her on the field hockey team in the fall.
“Having her on the team is a big plus,” Maggie Kelly said.
Fialcowitz admired the work of the sisters, as well as the rest of her team on the big stage.
“As a whole, that’s the best I’ve seen them play,” Fialcowitz said. “They were connecting and this is the first time they’ve all been on top of their game at the same time, so it’s a blast to watch.”