No. 9 Hereford field hockey starts slow, wins big vs. No. 12 Catonsville, 4-1

Hereford started slowly against visiting Catonsville in field hockey on Tuesday afternoon. The Bulls seemed flat and couldn't get going. Then they saw the Comets score the game's first goal.

That seemed to awaken No. 9 Hereford. Layne Litsinger had one goal and two assists as the Bulls scored the game's final four goals in a 4-1 victory over No. 12 Catonsville.

"We needed something," Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said. "We definitely did not have our groove on."

That was true in the opening minutes, when Catonsville (3-1) came out aggressively. Brianna Spinnato gave the Comets a 1-0 lead on her goal with 12:34 left in the half.

Brooke Stevens added an assist on that play, and she nearly scored again four minutes later. But the Bulls (3-1-1) began to turn it around after that, using their speed and passing ability to create scoring chances they couldn't find before.

Hereford tied it when Rachel Karwacki scored on a breakaway with 2:05 left in the half. Catonsville goalie Vanessa Tracy (five saves) partially blocked the shot, but the ball rolled into the cage.

Mundie and Litsinger said Hereford started to intensify their pressure on the Comets, pass smarter and communicate more effectively.

"We all just knew that we needed to pull through and score," Litsinger said. "We did that in the second half."

The Bulls scored three second-half goals, taking command with two goals in a span of 2:12 early in the half.

Litsinger broke the tie by putting away a rebound with 20:25 left in the game. She then made a perfect cross to Lucy Reider, swinging the ball from the right side to the left, and the junior finished it for a 3-1 lead with 18:13 remaining.

Tracy played aggressively in goal for Catonsville, and she came out to stop Litsinger on another breakaway later on. But Lila Radebaugh found the loose ball and scored for a 4-1 lead with 11:59 left.

Catonsville coach Carrie McKenna-Wilson liked how hard her team played and the scoring opportunities it manufactured. Hereford goalie Jessie Lynch (seven saves) and the Bulls defense made scoring difficult and kept the Bulls close during their slow start.

"We had our chances," McKenna-Wilson said. "We just couldn't get it in."

Hereford 4, Catonsville 1

Goals: C-Spinnato; H-Karwacki, Litsinger, Radebaugh, Reider. Assists: C-Stevens; H-Litsinger 2. Saves: C-Tracy 5; H-Lynch 7. Half: 1-1.

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