Dulaney senior Sofia Lopez had practiced the move too many times to count. Balance the ball on the end of your stick, dribble it forward — without letting it fall to the ground — then pop it over the goalie’s head.
“I always do that in practice, but never in a game,” Lopez said. “I’d never gotten to this point.”
With the sun quickly fading on Dulaney’s home field Tuesday, and the Lions in need of one more score to clinch a one-on-one shootout against No. 5 Hereford, Lopez finally met her dream scenario. Her highlight-reel goal following two sudden-death overtime periods sealed Dulaney’s 1-1 (3-1 shootout) win over its Baltimore County rival.
Junior Ava Winner and senior Emily Snyder also scored in the shootout, after each were awarded penalty strokes. Meanwhile, Lions junior goalie Addie Erdman (14 saves) shined, coming out of the cage to either stuff or kick away shots from three of the four Hereford players she faced.
“We don’t practice it enough, but I’ve got an extremely talented group of girls that, even with not practicing [one-on-one situations] on a regular basis, are skilled enough to put it in the cage,” Dulaney coach Meredith Lott said.
Dulaney (7-3) now has won seven straight after starting the season 0-3, when it lost to Garrison Forest, Hereford and Westminster by a combined 13-2. Since then, the Lions, who have made three straight trips to the Class 4A state finals, have outscored opponents during regulation and overtime by a combined 26-1.
Early on, however, it was Hereford (8-1) that dominated this one. The Bulls controlled play throughout the first quarter, but were unable to convert any of their seven penalty corners.
They finally took the lead on their eighth, when sophomore Katie Burks scored off a feed from sophomore Kennedy Ziegler 3 minutes, 49 seconds into the second quarter.
Following a slow start, however, Dulaney started playing better as the game progressed.
“After the first quarter, I saw a little bit of improvement,” Lott said. “Then I think our halftime talk just kind of motivated them. I needed them to be first to the ball and I needed them to play with more energy, and the girls brought it.”
“The second half we really just played our game and turned it around,” Lopez said.
Despite several prime scoring chances by each team, the Lions pulled even with 5:06 left in regulation, when Winner sent a crossing pass through the middle, and Lopez scored from the far side of the goal.
Neither team was able to score during two 10-minute overtime periods, forcing the shootout, the first for Dulaney since Lott took over as head coach last spring.
Despite the outcome, Hereford coach Caitlin Duvall had nothing but praise for her team’s effort.
“I think we’re still piecing things together, but I’m very happy with the battle my girls put up today, " Duvall said.
Dulaney 1, Hereford 1 (Dulaney wins shootout 3-1)
Goals: H — Burks (Bennett); D — Lopez (Winner, Snyder, Lopez)
Assists: H — Ziegler; D — Winner
Saves: H — Berquist 6 ; D — Erdman 14
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Half: Hereford, 1-0