Although it had been a first-half team all season, Dulaney rallied with two goals in the final five minutes to pull out a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Perry Hall in a Class 4A North region field hockey quarterfinal yesterday.
The victory, clinched on Nicole Govignon's precision goal with 3: 39 to go, seemed a long way off after Perry Hall's Lori Baran scored on a penalty stroke with 17: 45 left in the game.
"We've always been known as a first-half team," said Lions midfielder Christine Jacoby. "We come out first, score a goal and play solid the rest of the game. We've come up against some second-half teams who have beaten us, but when [Perry Hall] got that goal, we were all, let's just turn it up."
Jacoby scored the Lions' first goal on a second effort after a penalty corner with five minutes remaining. Kelly Slear fed the ball to Jacoby, who drove it past Gators goalie Jill Baran.
The game stayed tied for less than two minutes.
For most of the game, the Lions (8-3-3) had tried to play into the Gators' strength, their right side, instead of switching fields to their own right side. Once the Lions got through the Gators' wall and attacked from the right, they scored again.
Brought down on a fast break on the right side, the ball ended up in a scuffle to the right of the cage. Allie Benson managed to send a short pass toward the cage where Govignon slipped the ball through a slim space between Jill Baran and the near post.
"Allie passed me the ball and it was just about to go over the line," said Govignon. "I did a reverse stick and then whaled it right between the post and the goalie's foot. There wasn't much space, but it went right in."
This marked the Lions' second win over the Gators (8-4-1) this season, following an early 2-1 overtime victory.
Now the defending regional champs face another rematch in the semifinal when they travel to meet No. 8-ranked Westminster Tuesday. The Owls (9-2-1) beat Dulaney, 1-0, a month ago.
Westminster, a perennial power in Class 4A, had won nine straight regional titles before falling to Anne Arundel County's Chesapeake in the semifinals last year.
Slear said the Lions can use the momentum they mustered late in yesterday's game to carry them even further. "This is going to be a great way to show Westminster that Dulaney's ready," she said.