Hereford corners Towson in opener, 2-1 Dean scores game-winner on broken, 2nd-half play

September 12, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Yesterday's Baltimore County showdown between No. 13-ranked Towson and No. 14 Hereford had all the excitement of a playoff game even though it was only the teams' league opener.

Because the Generals were considered most likely to challenge two-time defending county champ Hereford for the Heron Division title, yesterday's game may prove to be as important as a playoff game.

The defending champs met the challenge, edging the Generals, 2-1, on Kim Dean's goal with 16: 43 left in the game.

Persistence on penalty corners paid off for Hereford (2-0). The Bulls scored both goals by following up broken corner plays with determined secondary surges.

"I have probably five mainstays on this team, and the rest are at a totally different level, so just to get them to this point today where they never gave up is amazing to me," said Bulls coach Tammy Mundie. "It really showed me they wanted to win this game."

The Bulls struck quickly, with Julia McKibbin scoring less than five minutes into the game. Kim Pabst set her up with a pass wide to the right of the cage, and McKibbin hammered it about 20 yards into the far corner.

Throughout the half, the Bulls backed the Generals (0-2) into their own circle, outshooting them 9-0 in the half. Generals keeper Mollie Gallagher made five saves just to keep the game close.

In the second half, however, the Generals found some fire. They threatened right away on two excellent crosses, but their only shot in the series carried wide.

Then the Generals got a huge break.

With the Generals pushing at the cage, a Bulls defender on the goal line deflected a Towson shot with her leg, giving the Generals a penalty stroke.

Kristen Manzo converted the stroke with 23: 31 remaining to tie at 1-1.

A minute later, Towson had another chance but could not convert its only corner of the half.

Then came another Hereford corner. Again the initial play didn't work, partly because the Bulls were without one of their key corner contributors, injured senior forward Tracy Kessler. But again the Bulls were persistent.

Kelly Harris finally knocked the ball to the middle, where Dean was waiting to hit the point-blank game-winner.

Gallagher made another save with 5: 45 left, but Hereford goalie Jen Kostick answered by denying Towson's best chance to tie with 3: 40 to go. Kostick came out to clear away a long roller with Generals forwards converging on her from both sides.

Bulls defenders Sarah Warner and Molly Adams also made key plays to keep Towson at bay in the final minutes.

The only problem for the Generals was their inability to finish. Although the Bulls moved the ball much better early in the game, Towson played them more evenly after about 20 minutes.

Pub Date: 9/12/98

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