Hereford, Pocomoke are state co-champs Several close calls, but no winning goal produced in 1-1 stalemate

Class 1A field hockey

November 15, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Hereford's double-overtime state title clash with defending champion Pocomoke yesterday produced enough excitement and close calls for a dozen games.

The only thing missing was a game-winning goal.

Hereford's Amanda Coleman scored the last goal early in the second half, as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in regulation. Even two wild 10-minute, seven-on-seven overtime periods could not produce a winner on Goucher College's Jo Fiske Field.

Sharing the Class 1A state title hardly mattered to the Bulls, who celebrated with gusto after 80 minutes of exhausting hockey.

"Sharing a championship is not something that, ever in a million years, crossed anybody on this team's mind," said Bulls senior Sarah Warner, "but no one is complaining. Sharing it with Pocomoke is a great honor. They've won it four years in a row and here we are in our first year in the state finals."

The last time Hereford won a state field hockey championship, no one on this year's team was even born. That was 1979. This is Baltimore County's first title since Loch Raven won the Class 2A crown in 1992.

In this state tournament, the Bulls (14-3-1) experienced a bit of everything, including a 2-0 semifinal win Wednesday in which Melanie Schwarzmann converted a penalty stroke in each half.

Yesterday, however, Pocomoke (16-1-2) yielded no extra chances.

In a back-and-forth game, both teams moved the ball quickly through the midfield, keeping much of the action between the 25-yard lines and the cages. The two teams combined for 36 shots.

Hereford took 21 of those shots and surely would have won the game if not for superb Pocomoke goalie Kristen Betterton.

Betterton, who cut off the angles against several Bulls breakaways in overtime, had 19 saves to preserve a state-record tying fifth straight title for the Warriors.

"I give their goalie so much credit," said Warner, an All-Metro second teamer. "She's one of the best goalies I've ever seen in my life. She knew all of our crosses, so she was right on them. She just blocked everything we gave her."

To beat Betterton, the Bulls' shots had to be near perfect and two of them were.

Tracy Kessler gave the Bulls the early lead, deflecting in a perfect crossing pass from Julia McKibbin.

"[Betterton] had to be moved," said Kessler. "There was no going through her or going around her. You had to pull her out and move her to one side."

After the Warriors scored two goals, including a Susan Beasley shot that took a bad hop just inside the post with 4: 27 left in the first half, the Bulls got another textbook goal to tie. Jen Marstellar sent the ball from the right to the far post where Coleman slipped it in behind Betterton.

In overtime, Betterton stopped Kessler and Jodi Anderson on the break and Hereford's Coleman, Kelly Harris and Erin Woods also made key defensive plays.

The title ends a two-year run of frustration for the Bulls, who did not play well and lost in the last two state semifinals. This year, they played their best.

"It feels good," said Bulls coach Tammy Mundie. "We've never won it, not this team, not these kids. They played the game of their lives. They're champions to me."

No. 2 Severna Park 3, Magruder 1. The Falcons (18-1) won their 11th state title as Jess Gaither had two goals and Beth Davis scored the game-winner to beat the Montgomery County Colonels (12-5). The Anne Arundel County champs, who own more state crowns than any other team, have won six of the last seven Class 4A titles.

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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