In most cases, it’s the opponents of the Sparrows Point girls soccer team that have the game against the Pointers marked on the calendar.
On Thursday night, when Sparrows Point hosts Hereford in a game that has been pushed back to 7:30 p.m. because of the heat, the reverse will be true.
It’s the No. 6 Pointers who have been looking forward to getting another crack at the No. 5 Bulls.
Last season, Sparrows Point set a Maryland record with their fifth straight Class 1A title, but hit a disappointing snag along the way when Hereford ended its run of three straight Baltimore County titles.
The Bulls did it in shocking fashion with then-freshman Payton Patrick tying the game with 2:36 to play and senior Kara Schmidt scoring in the final minute to give the Bulls a 3-2 win.
Thursday’s game is the season opener for both teams.
Both teams have plenty of talent returning, including two of the area’s best attacking players.
For Hereford, which returns nine starters, Patrick went on to close out her freshman season with 22 goals and 15 assists to earn All-Metro first-team honors.
Sparrows Point features All-Metro Player of the Year Julie Lynch, a four-year starter who scored 51 goals in her first three seasons.
While those two standouts are the focal points, both teams are loaded with talent.
Joining Patrick is Lily Robertson, who was the Bulls second leading scorer last season. Rachel Saunders, Anna Coleman and Carly Stevens add support in the middle with Laura Schmidt leading an experienced defense.
For the Pointers, Kalli Bell helps Lynch dominate the middle and Jasmine Pinter and Alayna Jerome scored big goals last season. Goalkeeper Jaddah Foos can make game-changing saves.
Both teams are highly skilled with capable possession games. Winning balls will be the key, along with staying poised in what is expected to be an intense game.