Last year, North Harford's Hawks won a regional title. What they didn't do, though, was beat C.M. Wright. They did it last night, though.
The Hawks (6-0) used first-half goals by Katelyn Aziz and Gina Romanell to defeat the host Mustangs (1-4), 2-0, and stay undefeated.
"They felt like they were better than us, and I think that motivated us," said Romanell.
"We came out a little tentative and didn't play as well as we could play, especially in the first half," said Mustangs coach Dina Augustitus. "I think the fact that this was a night game and it was early in the season was a reflection on how we played."
The Hawks took the lead early as Aziz fielded a pass from Christina Steele about 10 yards to the right of the goal and fired an arcing shot over the head of Mustangs keeper Angela Kucharek.
C. Milton Wright's best chance of the half came in the 33rd minute. A low crossing pass landed on the foot of the Mustangs' Jackie Moore, but her wide-open shot sailed wide right of the Hawks' goal.
North Harford added to the lead just before halftime. After taking the ball off a defender's foot in the penalty area, sophomore Romanell fired a low shot past Kucharek with 19 seconds left in the half to extend the lead to 2-0.
"That was a huge goal for us," said North Harford coach Tom Berg. "They were starting to establish some momentum, and that goal made them play a different style in the second half."
The Mustangs tried in vain to establish an offense in the second half. Their best two chances came in a one-minute span midway through the half. First, junior Allison Vazzetti's direct free kick sailed just over the crossbar, followed shortly thereafter by an acrobatic save by North Harford's Lindsey Kerber of a Jess Petty header.
"This game was a measuring stick for us," said Berg. "We lost to them, 1-0, last season, and it shows how far we've come. It wasn't crucial if we lost, but the fact that we didn't speaks well for us. This was a good test tonight."
Even though the county title is a goal, Berg said the real goal his team has set is to defend its regional championship.