A highly-motivated Hereford High girls field hockey team got a goal from junior Anna Brandt in the first half and they made it hold up the rest of the way as the host No. 15 Bulls (9-5) won the Baltimore County championship, 1-0, on Monday night.
The victory was the third of the season for the Bulls over the Lions (9-6).
Last year, Dulaney did the same thing to Hereford and they defeated them, 4-3, in overtime.
That ended the Bulls consecutive streak of county titles at three, but they currently have won 10 of the last 12 county crowns.
“Last year, it was a really big letdown to come out so ready and we couldn’t pull through with a win and we worked really hard this season and we really knew it was going to be redemption, we wanted a win,” Brandt said. “We came out ready to play and they came out hard and intense too and we just came out with a win.”
Brandt scored the game’s lone goal with 5:18 left in the first half.
“I got the ball and I heard my teammates just yelling, ‘Go, go, go,’ because it was a really fast game right from the start,” Brandt said. “They came out ready to play, so I just took it and I looked up and there was a girl to beat, I pulled right and I made it to the baseline and I took a low-angle shot and it hit the backboard and my teammates started screaming.”
Both coaches admired the shot because of the difficult angle.
“It was a great send-in to the circle, she had a really hard angle and I was actually very impressed with the shot,” Hereford coach Caitlin Duvall said.” “It was something, I think she was just trying to get the ball into the circle, make something happen, but it ended up in the cage and we’ll take it.”
“That was a beautiful shot,” Dulaney coach Kellie Fialcowitz said. “When it’s coming from that angle, that’s a tough one to protect.”
It was the only one Dulaney sophomore goalie Allie Mercer (11 saves) didn’t save, despite facing 12 penalty corners, compared to Dulaney’s five.
“She played great. I give a lot of credit to their goalie because she was incredible tonight,” Duvall said. “Their goalie has been consistent all year.”
“She kept them in it,” added Brandt. “We were trying to get our bodies in front of her and really just force it in, to do whatever we could to let it hit the boards, but she really came out and she pressured our girls which is something you don’t always see.”
Fialcowitz praised the defense that she hopes will continue to shine when the Lions host Catonsville on Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Class 4A North Region Section I semifinals.
“My goalie did a great job and a couple of defenders really stepped up well and protected,” said Fialcowitz, praising Amalia Hobbs, Mae Dickens and Mae Jung. “They were taking some serious shots.”
Hereford got outstanding midfield and attack play from senior captain Mackenzie McKillop, senior Madison Hackett and juniors Katie Martino and Chloe Parker as they continually peppered Mercer.
Dulaney’s best scoring chance in the first half came on a high shot by Anna Simoes that Hereford goalie Sydney Lippe swatted away.
Lippe had four only saves because the defense of senior Cate O’Connor and juniors Grace Noone and Kelsey Knight kept the pressure off.
Dulaney had three shots in the final 10 minutes, but salvos by Zoe Herrman and Sidney Snyder were saved by Lippe and another one by Hermann leaked wide.
Hereford hosts Lansdowne in the Class 2A North Section I semifinals on Thursday, Oct. 25.