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Farjami’s hat trick leads Wilde Lake field hockey past Hammond

Before Mariam Farjami’s freshman year at Wilde Lake, she attended a field hockey camp.

“They stuck me with the little kids, because I didn’t know how to play,” she said, “I was really bad.”

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More than three years later, Farjami scored her first career hat trick in the Wildecats’ 7-1 win over visiting Hammond on Wednesday.

“I never would have imagined that I’d come this far,” Farjami said. “I had never played before when I came here, so this is cool.”

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Wilde Lake (4-1 Howard County, 7-3) has already matched its win total from last season, when the Wildecats went 7-7 in the regular season. The victory is the team’s fifth straight, and during the streak, the Wildecats have outscored their opponents 30-1.

“Before I first got here, they were winning only a few games each season,” said head coach Ginger Kincaid, who is in her fourth season at Wilde Lake. “The biggest thing these kids have learned is it’s not a drop-in sport. We’ve changed that culture to make sure they’re dedicated to it.”

Farjami, a senior, was a freshman when Kincaid, who previously spent 39 years at Glenelg, took over at Wilde Lake. She said the program has “grown so much” in the last four seasons.

“She had to start from the ground up,” Farjami said. “We had a lot of freshmen my freshman year, and she’s been able to build the team from the ground up.”

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She also credits Kincaid with her own improvement over the past four seasons. Farjami, who also scored two goals in Wilde Lake’s win over Oakland Mills last week, scored the first, second and fourth goals of the game against Hammond to bring her season total to six.

“With coach Kincaid, I’ve gotten so much better,” Farjami said. “She’s amazing. She’s really understanding, and she really knows what she’s doing. She’s very informative, and I’m glad she’s my coach.”

After Farjami’s first goal to start the game at Hammond (3-1, 5-3), the Golden Bears tied the score with a goal from Elizabeth Hughes midway through the first half. Hammond coach Courtney Abell said she was proud of how her team started the game.

“We had a very strong start,” said the first-year coach. “We have a group of hard workers. They’re so coachable, and they have so much heart.”

The Wildecats then scored six unanswered goals to win 7-1. Farjami and Victoria Stralka both scored in the final 12 minutes of the first half to put Wilde Lake up 3-1 at halftime. Farjami started the scoring in the second half, while Zoe Reading and Stralka adding goals Nos. 5 and 6. Reading, who is tied for the team lead in goals (12) with Stralka, capped off the game’s scoring a few minutes before the final whistle. Reading also added two assists, while Stralka, Farjami, Meredith Sikora and Sally Kulesza all had one assist.

“All of them have the ability to finish,” Kincaid said of Farjami, Stralka and Reading, who have combined to score 30 goals in 10 games this season. “As long as we’re trying to assist our goals and shoot for the corners, they’ll all get their fair share.”

Both teams are back in action tomorrow. Hammond hosts Glen Burnie, while Wilde Lake plays at Northeast.

Box score:

Wilde Lake 7, Hammond 1

Goals: WL — Mariam Farjami 3, Victoria Stralka 2, Zoe Reading 2; Ha — Elizabeth Hughes.

Assists: WL — Reading 2, Meredith Sikora, Stralka, Farjami, Sally Kulesza.

Halftime: 3-1, WL

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