The matchup between Hereford and Glenelg in last night's state Class 2A-1A girls lacrosse semifinal could have been easily viewed as the state championship game. With some of the state classifications now consolidated, both teams have been considered the elite since the start of the spring.
The Bulls and Gladiators didn't disappoint in their rematch from earlier in the season as No. 13 Hereford emerged victorious, 6-5, over No. 12 Glenelg at Bel Air.
Next up for Hereford is the winner of the other semifinal, between Southern-Anne Arundel and Northwest of Montgomery County, Tuesday or Wednesday at UMBC. Southern-AA and Northwest will meet this afternoon.
Sophomore attackman Chrissy Rude's penalty goal with 30.4 seconds left was the game-winner for Hereford (15-2).
"I wasn't going to let the team down," said Rude, who scored three goals. "We've worked so hard for this, and the seniors deserve this moment."
The Bulls had a 5-3 lead with 7:55 left in the game, but Hereford goalie Kit Turnbaugh was given a yellow card for leaving the crease and knocking down a Glenelg player on a loose ball. That allowed Bryn Buckler to pull even on a free goal with 1:12 left.
The Bulls were able to keep their composure as sophomores Kathleen Spardaro and Jessica Allen and junior Scotty Hanley scored for Hereford. Glenelg, which lost to Howard County rival Mount Hebron in last season's 3A-2A-1A state final, received two goals from senior attackman Stephanie Simpson.
Simpson (one assist) brought the Gladiators within 5-4 with 3:44 left, but Glenelg missed several opportunities.
Goals: H--Allen, Rude 3, Hanley, Spardaro; G--Nicol, Simpson 2, Buckler, Lewis. Assists: G--Simpson. Saves: H--Turnbaugh 10; G--Young 9. Half: 2-2.