At halftime of yesterday's girls soccer game with No. 12 Dulaney, Eastern Tech coach Brett Smith told his players they had to take better advantage of their scoring opportunities.
Nicole Herrman heard loud and clear.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Herrman volleyed a shot from the right side about 12 yards into the net. That gave the Mavericks a one-goal lead and sparked a 3-1 victory over the visiting Lions in a Baltimore County non-league contest.
Although Erika Stimmel put Eastern Tech (2-0) on the board in the fourth minute of the game, the Lions (1-1) controlled most of the early going.
Dulaney center midfielder Meagan Holmes tied the game in the 26th minute off a chip from Kelly Neel.
After the half, the Mavericks applied the pressure with three shots in the first five minutes, including two near-misses by Stephanie Gutowski.
Then Herrman, with the wind at her back, ran onto a through ball on the right side and nailed it right-footed past Lions keeper Kristen Gilwee, who was facing directly into the sun.
"All the midfielders have the ability to put that ball on net outside the 18 [yard line]," Smith said. "I told them time and time again that a scoring opportunity lasts a second and you've got to take advantage of it. Nicole got that ball and she volleyed it right in."
Dulaney back Alice Hughey said there were some defensive miscues on Herrman's goal.
"I don't think we were marking up in the middle," Hughey said, "and they had a lot of girls who could work the ball around and get shots quickly. They're a very good team out of the air and we need to work on that, winning the 50-50 balls."
The Mavericks kept pressuring, but they gained some breathing room in the 70th minute when Danielle Nickles cleared the ball from about 20 yards beyond midfield and it landed in Dulaney's net.
Lions sweeper Jamie Grandizio tried to head the ball out, but it was too high and carried back off her head. It then bounced over Gilwee into the net.
Eastern Tech will be looking for another upset when it plays host to defending county champion and No. 3 Perry Hall Saturday at 10 a.m.
"This is a huge win for us," Nickles said, "because they've always been known to be really good, they're ranked and they're one of three teams we lost to last year. This also gives us a lot of confidence for Perry Hall."