This time, No. 11 Hereford finished what it started.
Five days after blowing a four-goal lead to No. 4 Bryn Mawr in an overtime loss, the Bulls again grabbed the early lead on the Mawrtians in the final of the Liberty Lacrosse Invitational yesterday. They made it stick this time by scoring four of the final six goals in a 15-11 win.
"The first time, we fell apart in the second half. Today, we were ready to play," Hereford midfielder Jessica Allen said. "We learned that we had to put two halves together on a great team like that."
The victory capped a resoundingly successful weekend for the defending Class 2A-1A state champions, who scored a 9-8 double-overtime win against No. 6 Liberty on Friday night. The host Lions (4-1) defeated Glenelg (2-2) in yesterday's consolation, 20-7.
For Hereford (3-1), the day was about composure.
"We have consistently had a habit of not doing well in the second half, so we just concentrated on getting through the first half, then trying to really stay composed in the second half," Hereford coach Anne Ensor said. "I think that helped us a lot today."
Led by Allen (six goals), attacker Chris Rude (four goals) and midfielder Mollie Reese (three goals, one assist), the Bulls broke out to a 4-1 advantage after the first 10 minutes. Minutes later Hereford extended it to 7-3 -- the same score it led Bryn Mawr at halftime on Monday.
Bryn Mawr (5-2-1), paced by midfielder Olachi Oparah's four goals, got as close as 13-11 with 4:13 left before Allen scored twice in the final 3:04 to seal the win.
Coach Wendy Kridel said that her team's schedule, which included four games in six days, may have caught up with the Mawrtians.
"I just think playing the level of competition we played this week was tough," said Kridel, whose team also faced Mount de Sales Wednesday and Glenelg in Friday's first-round game. "I knew Liberty was a great team and Hereford was a great team. Had we played Liberty, it could have been the same type of game."
The Bulls, who have upcoming games against division rivals Towson and Catonsville, said they are hoping to use the weekend as a springboard for the rest of the season.
"I think we have so much more room to improve," Allen said. "This game really set the tone for us. We can keep building on the way we played today."
In the consolation, Liberty -- which connected on 20 of 22 shots -- got four goals from Lindsay Weiner and three each from Sarah Scrivener, Becky Trumbo, Meagan Voight and Susan Ackermann in an easy victory.
"We tried to put last [Friday] night behind us and just play a good game today," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "Yesterday was the [kind of] game we wanted. We're not worried about wins and losses. We just want to play competition that can give us a great game."