Sarah Frederick is a cherry picker. A senior forward on Glenelg's field hockey team, she positions herself at the post of the opposing cage and waits for a scoring opportunity.
"That's what Sarah is known for," said teammate Phoebe Kuesters.
Frederick scored her eighth goal of the season yesterday, playing the cherry picker role to perfection. Her second-half score, which began with a penalty corner, defeated Mount Hebron, 1-0, and moved the 12th-ranked Gladiators within a victory of their first county championship since 1992.
Glenelg (10-2 overall, 7-0 league), which has allowed only three goals against county opponents, can clinch the title Friday with a victory at Wilde Lake (2-8-1, 2-5-1).
Mount Hebron (6-5-2, 5-2-1) has had trouble scoring this season, but came into yesterday's game having recorded 20 goals in its last two games. The Vikings started aggressively against Glenelg and never stopped. They took more than twice as many shots (19-7) and five more corners (11-6).
"But they scored," said Mount Hebron senior Katie Jeschke. "It's not fair, but that's how hockey is sometimes."
Six minutes into the second half, Kelly O'Connor began Glenelg's penalty corner opportunity from the right side. She hit the ball straight to Elizabeth Narron, who passed the ball left to Kuesters.
With Mount Hebron goalie Katelyn Hoffman coming out to defend, Kuesters fired a shot to the left side. It would have gone out, but Frederick was there.
"It worked perfectly," said Frederick, one of only three seniors on the team.
Glenelg junior goalie Kristina Johnson recorded 15 saves, and got support from Melissa Krause, Kristina Schwarz, Jessica Schmidt, Sara Chaconas, Lori Wasilewski and Kuesters.
"They dominated the game," said Frederick, "but our defense responded. They were incredible."
Added Jeschke: "It's frustrating because we did everything right but couldn't put the ball in the goal."