3-1 victory gives Bulls their first county title Hereford controls midfield to build win over Franklin

October 23, 1997|By Brant James | Brant James,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Quality of shots may be better than quantity of shots, but a little of both was enough to win Hereford its first Baltimore County girls' soccer championship yesterday at Kenwood High.

Led by second-half goals by Sarah Stoltz and Brook Levine and a stifling game-long midfield effort, the Division II winner Bulls denied several key scoring chances by snipers Sara Gustafson and Missy Farrell to topple Division I champ Franklin, 3-1.

"We were out-hustled and out-played," Franklin coach George Wagner said. "Hereford deserved what they got."

Stoltz gave the Bulls their eventual game-winner with 33 minutes, 34 seconds left in the game when she controlled a free ball 5 yards from the goal line, and with goalkeeper Jen Fried on the ground, popped a shot into the net.

"This is probably the best I've ever felt in my life," Stoltz said. "I saw the ball and just reacted. I just knew it had to go in."

Levine gave Hereford a two-goal cushion 16 minutes later on a pass from Missy Mueller that she shot high into the goal.

Hereford out-shot the Indians, 18-6, and dictated tempo throughout the game, constantly pumping the ball into the attack zone with short chips and quick passes after winning balls at midfield.

The sharp passing also helped the Bulls counterattack well, and one such outburst gave them a 1-0 lead with 24 minutes, 15 seconds left in the first half. Mueller took a pass up the left sideline and dribbled straight ahead 70 yards, staying just ahead of marker Rukmini MacDonald, and fired a 15-yard shot over goaltender Jen Fried for the game's opening goal.

Gustafson -- who entered the game with 20 goals -- and Farrell (12 goals) were limited to a handful of legitimate scoring chances, but Gustafson created her own opportunity to tie the game with 3: 38 left until halftime.

Gustafson controlled a loose ball along the left sideline, and after one quick fake somehow wedged herself and the ball through tight-marking defenders Jessica Fisher, Brandi Colledge and Annie Ernst, and ripped a 20-yard shot over goalkeeper Lauren Rice for a 1-1 tie.

Farrell had a chance from 10 yards out to bring the Indians within 3-2 with 10: 57, but kicked right at Rice. Gustafson just had missed tying the game, 2-2, with 22: 39 left.

"I had a freshman, Heather Bell, marking Gustafson," Hereford coach Steve Power said. "You're always nervous about how a freshman will react, but she really stepped up."

Rice, who has allowed just eight goals this season, finished with 13 saves.

Fried was forced to make 19 saves. She had allowed just eight goals this season before yesterday.

Pub Date: 10/23/97

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