The Hereford girls lacrosse team dominated in the second half and won its second straight Baltimore County championship over Catonsville, 20-9, on Saturday at Tierney Field at U.S. Lacrosse national headquarters.
Leading 10-7 at halftime, the No. 5 Bulls (12-0) scored the first seven goals of the second half, before No. 14 Catonsville (11-3) ended a scoring drought of 15:37 on a goal by Sophi Wrisk.
It was Hereford’s seventh straight appearance in the county title game and fifth victory during that span.
The only losses came in 2017 to Dulaney, 14-13, when the Lions scored in the final seconds and to the Comets in 2015, when Catonsville rallied from eight goals down at half.
There was no comeback on Saturday, thanks to a stout defensive effort from Rachel Saunders, Sam Martin, Shannon Feely and Stephanie Joyce in front of goalie Lindsay Posner (11 saves).
That group held Catonsville’s dynamic scoring trio of Wrisk (3 goals, 1 assist), Lindsey Marshall (2 goals, 1 assist) and Kolby Weedon to just 11 combined shots in the contest.
“We really knew that we had to watch [Weedon], [Marshall] and [Wrisk], so we really focused on them not scoring,” Saunders said. “I would go on my girl and would call my defense, ‘Guys come, I’m leaving,’ and then I would go and double, so we always sent one to go (double) because they were definitely their top players.”
Hereford had its own dominant scorers, but the one that dented the net most often was sophomore attacker Lindsay Clarke, who led the Bulls with eight goals and one assist.
Senior Isabella Peterson scored four and her younger sister Jordan had two goals, while Libby May had five goals, two assists and Martha Kaestner added a goal for the Bulls.
The key to the first half was draw possession and the combination of the Peterson sisters led to the Bulls winning 7 of 11 in the half.
“It was nice they were able to switch that up and keep it in the family,” Catonsville coach Cantey Bailey said.
Hereford won 18 of 30 draws overall.
“Whoever had more draw controls was going to win that game,” Hereford coach Anne Ensor said.
Hereford scored seven unanswered goals in 8:54 in the second half and goalie Posner made some key stops during that stretch.
“The defense did a good job of getting to the stick, so I think the shooters were rushed and it gives the goalie a much better chance and Lindsay did a great job,” Ensor said. “She (Posner) was dipping her stick at first and then she was coming out high and I think she had three of four saves that could have swung the momentum very quickly.”
The Comet attack also had trouble with the Bulls’ pressure defense.
“We let their physicality get to our heads and I thought we were ready for it, but we let it get to our heads,” said Bailey, who hopes her squad will regroup for the regional playoffs. “This doesn’t count for our state record, it’s for bragging rights and they definitely deserved it and very good for them, but after every goal we have our team bring it in and we say ‘Goldfish,’ you let it go because a goldfish has a 10-second memory, so I said you have to goldfish this loss right here.”
Hereford has six seniors with a goal of reaching the state finals for the second straight year after losing to Glenelg, 6-5, last year.
“That’s the plan,”said Saunders, who has played 12 varsity seasons (soccer, basketball, lacrosse). “I’m most confident in every single part. There is no part that we are really lacking. We have played tougher teams that have taken out Isabel and Libby, who seem to be our star players on attack and then our other attackers really step up.”
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Goals: H— Lindsay Clarke 8, Libby May 5, Isabella Peterson 4, Jordan Peterson 2, Martha Kaestner 1. C —Sophi Wrisk 3, Anna Kearney 3, Lindsey Marshall 2, Abbi Boehl 1. Assists: H — May 2, Clarke 1, Chloe Parker 1. C — Wrisk 1, Boehl 1. Saves: H — Lindsay Posner 11. C — Naomi Lauderbaugh 6, Astrid Jensen 1.