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Perry Hall girls soccer beats Dulaney, 2-1, to win Baltimore County championship

The Perry Hall girls soccer team has come a long way since its last loss in early October.

During their five-game winning streak, the Gators strung together passes, finished timely chances and protected leads with poise. The last team that beat them, Dulaney, was left standing in their way in the Baltimore County championship game at CCBC-Catonsville on Tuesday night.

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Perry Hall was determined to make it six straight wins.

Kyleigh Gough and Mariah McQueen scored early goals on assists from Kamryn Williams, and the Gators were able to hold off Dulaney, 2-1, with a strong possession game in the second half to claim the county crown.

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In improving to 9-5 overall, Perry Hall avenged a 1-0 loss to Dulaney (6-4-3) on Oct. 5 during the regular season.

The county championship game was originally scheduled for Monday night, but the area’s heavy thunderstorms pushed it to Tuesday. The Gators were champing at the bit, and it showed.

“Definitely today we were all super excited coming off losing 1-0 to them before in our league,” said Williams, a senior co-captain. “It was a little nerve-racking but it we had awesome effort and heart. We wanted it more than them I think.

“We’ve started to jell more, figure out where each of our strengths are and being able to get the ball where it’s best for them to get to the goal. We’ve figured out how to score.”

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Perry Hall's Kyleigh Gough, right, celebrates with teammates after her goal against Dulaney in the first half of the Baltimore County girls soccer championship game Tuesday night.
Perry Hall's Kyleigh Gough, right, celebrates with teammates after her goal against Dulaney in the first half of the Baltimore County girls soccer championship game Tuesday night. (Kenneth K. Lam)

Perry Hall was able to connect passes and find seams in the Lions’ backline early to claim a 2-0 advantage 13 minutes into the game.

Gough, a senior, opened the scoring in the 10th minute, finishing off a pass sent in to the far post by fellow captain Williams.  Madeline Lebhar won possession at midfield and found Michaela Phillips on the right side, and a short one-touch pass to Williams led to the through ball to Gough.

In the 17th minute, Williams once again had time and space on the right side to send another ball in for McQueen to finish from 12 yards for the two-goal lead.

“We’re much more focused on breaking lines,” Perry Hall coach Matt Smoot said. “Dulaney does an excellent job of pursuing the ball, sitting back and letting you play into them. We just worked extremely hard off ball, broke lines and got a lot of opportunities.”

The Lions got some momentum late in the first half when they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area that Briana Alvarez cleanly struck inside the near post to cut the Gators’ lead to 2-1 with 6:13 to play before halftime.

But Perry Hall stayed maintained its strong possession game for most of the second half to protect the lead. The Lions played hard throughout, but their scoring chances were at a minimum in their bid to tie the game in the second half.

“I thought we gave a great effort,” Dulaney coach Maurice Boylan Jr. said. “The first few minutes we were playing against the wind and were all over them. But then they got control of the game,  They knock it around really nice out of the back line, they possess well, they got two goals from the flank and then we got the late goal [in the first half].”

Next up is the region playoffs, with both teams competing in the Class 4A North Section I and earning opening-round byes.

In the semifinal round, top-seeded Perry Hall hosts the Catonsville-Western winner at 7 p.m. Friday, while second-seeded Dulaney hosts third-seeded Parkville at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Goals: PH --  Gough, McQueen; D -- Alvarez

Assists: PH – Williams 2

Saves: PH – Jankowiak 2; D --  Heron 3

Half: PH, 2-1

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