Three just might be the lucky number for Hereford's girls soccer team this fall.
Not only will the Bulls seek their third straight trip to the state tournament, but thanks to the addition of a third state crown, they will not have to face Oakland Mills again if they make it. The defending Class 1A/2A champion Scorpions, who have beaten the Bulls the past two years by a total of three goals, move into a different classification.
Because of the growing state membership in girls soccer, including recent entries from Southern Maryland and Prince George's County, the tournament will include three championships for the first time in its eight-year history. The new classifications will be dubbed 3A/4A, 2A/3A and 1A/2A.
Hereford will remain in Class 1A/2A while Oakland Mills moves into the new 2A/3A classification which includes the larger 2A schools and the smaller 3As.
But the news is not all good for the Bulls. Rival Loch Raven not only remains in Class 1A/2A but also in the same region. The Bulls beat the Raiders in the regionals in overtime last year and in a double shootout the year before.
Carver A&T;, Chesapeake, Sparrows Point, Towson, Harford Tech, Havre de Grace and Joppatowne round out that North region. Class 1A/2A also includes two historically strong Howard County teams, Glenelg and Hammond, in the South regional along with Lansdowne, Owings Mills, Pikesville and Western T&E.;
Franklin gets some good news with its move into Class 2A/3A. The Indians are no longer in the same region with co-defending Class 3A/4A champ Centennial. However, their North region includes Oakland Mills and strong Howard, as well as Mount Hebron, City, Poly, Catonsville and Overlea. Dundalk, Eastern Tech, Patapsco, Aberdeen, Bel Air and North Harford are in the East region.
Dulaney may have gotten a break while remaining in Class 3A/4A, although their region includes Thomas Johnson. Fallston is in a separate region, the North, along with C. Milton Wright, Kenwood, Perry Hall and Anne Arundel County teams Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, North County and Old Mill. Dulaney's West region includes Lake Clifton, Patterson, Western, Parkville, Woodlawn, Westminster and Frederick. Co-defending champ Severna Park is in the East region.
In the meantime in the county race, Division I looks like a battle too close to call between the Bulls and the Raiders. Dulaney and up-and-coming Patapsco also should be in the running.
In Division II, defending champ Owings Mills is the favorite to repeat while Lansdowne appears the front-runner in Division III.
With both the Catholic League A and B conferences adding new members, it should make for a battle-tested season for every team involved.
Notre Dame Prep, up from the B Conference, only strengthens the powerful A league, in which three of last season's top four teams -- Catholic, McDonogh and Mercy, all lost key performers; most notably Laurie Schwoy from McDonogh.
Maryvale, which previously played as an independent, also joins the A Conference.
Bryn Mawr, Chapelgate, Roland Park and Towson Catholic begin their first seasons in the B Conference.
The City League again has five teams. Patterson and Western tied for the league title a year ago, yet the Clippers may be a step ahead this season based on numbers of players. The league also features two of the area's biggest scorers in Katie Bonnell (Patterson) and Kerri Harman (Western).
Pub Date: 9/01/96