The Harford Tech girls soccer team knew it was going to have to buckle down on defense with the competition it was facing at Bel Air’s 9th annual Bobcat Cup on Saturday.
First up in the morning was No. 14 Hereford and one of the area’s most dangerous forwards in All-Metro junior Payton Patrick.
And then the Cobras’ afternoon game was against defending Class 4A state champion Perry Hall.
Goalie Raegan Salamone, center back Allison Storm and the rest of the Cobras defense left Bel Air’s field plenty tired, but even more satisfied.
After opening with a 0-0 draw against Hereford, the Cobras got a first-half goal from Madelyn Harner against No. 9 Perry Hall and then had to fend off a considerable second-half push from the Gators in securing a 1-0 win.
The productive day will serve well the rest of the season for the Cobras, who left with a 3-0-1 season mark and feeling they could play with any team around.
With the Gators surging for the equalizer throughout the second half, the Harford Tech defense stayed calm in contesting a number of corner kicks, free kicks and other scoring chances. Salamone’s biggest save came with 13 minutes left when she made a diving fingertip save on a shot from Erin Marciszewski.
It was amazing. It was a really good effort and we couldn’t have done it without Raegan,” said Storm.
“We just stayed with our marks and made sure everybody came back and moved forward as a unit.”
Century 7, Hereford 4: The first three games in the tournament had a combined four goals on Saturday.
In the fourth game, the Knights poured in six in the first half alone with sophomore forward Haley Greenwade the catalyst in the goal-scoring splurge.
She opened the scoring four minutes into play, made it 2-0 three minutes later and then, after Hereford All-Metro forward Payton Patrick cut the lead to 2-1 a minute late, she had her third of the half with 21 minutes to play.
The Knights (3-0) led 6-2 at the half and scored the first goal of the second half to keep hold of the game.
“I’m just so proud of the girls right now for the way that they played — every single girl we put out there did their job today,” said Century coach Sara Figuly.
“She’s amazing,” Figuly said. “She played center midfield last year and we changed her position to forward because she has that speed and she can run with her foot skills. She has awareness, has that fire and spunk to get in there and also the foot skills – everything needed to be successful.”
The Bulls, who played Harford Tech to a 0-0 draw earlier in the morning, are currently working with a young and entirely new back line after injuries sidelined all four of their returning starters. Patrick factored in all four of the Bulls goals with three goals and one assist.
Bel Air 1, Rising Sun 0: Junior Emma Yakim scored a first-half goal and the host Bobcats protected the lead the rest of the way to claim the win in the tournament opener.
Fallston 2, Rising Sun 1: Junior forward Logan Ward finished with two goals -- scoring in each half – and the Cougars defense held firm in the closing minutes after the Tigers got a late goal to pull within one.