Not five. Not six. Not seven. The Hereford girls soccer team poured it on in an 8-0 victory over Franklin on Tuesday.
Payton Patrick led the way with two goals during a special day for the seniors, who played their final game on Hereford’s home field.
“They’ve changed the course of our program over the last few years and we’ve always been competitive, but in the last four years they’ve elevated us to another level,” coach Brad Duvall said. “To go from where we were as they stepped on the field as freshman to where they are now is a testament to their ability, hard work and dedication.”
In Patrick’s first season with the Bulls, the team lost to River Hill in the state finals. Hereford returned to the state playoffs the next season, but lost to River Hill once again, this time in the semifinals. While the team won’t get another chance to prove what it can accomplish in a full season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick is pleased with the legacy that she and her teammates have left.
“It’s just really special to be able to move up with this program, especially the 12 seniors,” Patrick said. “We’ve played together since Stampede recreational soccer. So, to be able to play with them and close out, even though it’s a six-game season that we have, it would be sad to not go out with a bang.”
Patrick has high hopes to cap off her career at Hereford. She is honored to be considered for the Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year because of her performance over the past few seasons. While the Bulls won’t have a county championship to compete for, she looks to finish the six-game season undefeated.
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Patrick will be headed to South Carolina to continue her soccer career.
“Anything is possible honestly,” Patrick said. “Like there’s amazing competition [here]. Laura [Schmidt] is going to Bucknell, Sarah [Klink] is going to Haverford — playing with these girls makes you 100% [better] and shows that anyone can do anything and play. Follow your dreams.”
Hereford’s Sarah Klink struck first with a goal at 39:14. Elleigh Fisher scored just a few minutes later, and Kelsey Fowler added a goal with 32:59 remaining for a 3-0 lead at the half.
Hereford started an intense goal-scoring flurry in the second half. Maggie Elliott finished off a volley for a score with 37:53 to go, and Emma Dunn scored with 31:54 left. On came Patrick with her two goals with 29:00 and 25:54 remaining.
Finally, goalkeeper Lucy Griffin got her chance. As she swapped her usual black No. 00 goalie jersey for a burgundy No. 21 jersey, Griffin rushed down the field for the final goal with 11:36 remaining. It was the first goal of of her high school career.
“Hereford is a really good program,” Franklin coach Andrew Prietz said. “When we play Hereford, we know it’s going to be an incredibly difficult time. We try to make it as competitive as possible with them. They have some very, very good players that you could see tonight. They could move the ball, they were fast, and tonight we couldn’t hang as much as we wanted to. They put forth a great effort. We definitely want to be a program like that in the future and our goal is to be a competitive team in BCPS [Baltimore County Public Schools].”