The Dulaney field hockey team is in an unusual slump.
The Lions have lost three straight games, and the most surprising one during that stretch came Wednesday against host Towson.
Towson senior midfielder Shaeleigh LaCasse’s goal with 15:50 remaining in the first half enabled the Generals (4-3) to defeat Dulaney, 1-0.
“Of all the teams that I have seen come through Towson in the past seven years, this one really plays together,” Generals’ coach Sam Merrick. “They make things happen because they trust each other and they just have a cohesion that I have seen no other team have.”
LaCasse said her teammates especially were looking forward to playing Dulaney (4-3), and with good reason.
The Lions dominated the Generals, 6-1, last year.
“I don’t think they expected us to come out as fast as we did and especially with our passing game,” LaCasse said. “Our motto is, ‘Start strong and end strong.’ We did that.”
Towson’s goal started on a penalty corner. Senior inner Hannah Connelly found Grace Michel near the top of the 16-yard circle and senior defender unleashed a blistering shot that LaCasse tipped past keeper Alli Hill.
Kaitlyn Tracey, Rachel May, Margo Glazer and Michel stayed busy late in the first half and into the second half.
Dulaney recorded four shots in the final eight minutes of the first half, but sophomore goalie Caroline Ready (7 saves) withstood the flurry and shined the most when she stopped consecutive shots from Zoe Hermann.
“It was the best I had seen Caroline play all season,” Merrick said. “She was really there on those big shots.”
That was especially true in the final minutes.
After Dulaney’s Claire Podles knocked the ball into the circle with 1:30 remaining, Kiley Bolonda was in perfect position right in front of the goal.
But Ready saved Bolonda’s point-blank shot.
Emma Klein then gained control of a loose ball and her shot was blocked by Michel.
“We had plenty of opportunities to score in the second half,” said Dulaney coach Kellie Fialcowitz, whose team held an advantage of 14-3 in shots and 11-2 edge in penalty corners. “We just couldn’t finish, which is very frustrating.”