Hereford uses experience to turn aside Centennial

Winning by shootout sends fifth-ranked Bulls into final

Class 2A field hockey

High School

November 06, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Winning six consecutive regional championships was more than just an accomplishment for the Hereford field hockey team. It's a chance at making amends.

The fifth-ranked Bulls earned their wish by outlasting Centennial in a penalty-stroke shootout, winning, 2-0, in a Class 2A state field hockey semifinal at Goucher College yesterday.

Hereford, which last shared a state title in 1A three years ago, earned a rematch with 10-time state champion Bethesda-Chevy Chase at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.

The Barons, who routed the Bulls, 3-0, in last season's state final, needed overtime to edge Easton, 2-1, yesterday.

Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said her squad is primed for another meeting with Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

"That's been the goal of my team all year," Mundie said. Last year's loss "was a rough game for us. I think we want to come back and redeem ourselves."

The North region titlist Bulls (12-3-2) took the necessary step to that stage by out-dueling Centennial, the South regional champion.

Last in the state semifinals in 1996, the Eagles (12-5-2) were perhaps a bit awed by the stage, and Hereford took advantage.

Kitt Turnbaugh carried the ball along the right side before crossing it to fellow senior attacker Katy Funk, who one-timed a shot past Centennial goalie Dayna Eng to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead with about eight minutes left in the first half.

Hereford was content to sit back on defense and thwart the Eagles' opportunities, but junior attacker Nadia Clendening tied the score with a blast inside the circle with about two minutes left in the game.

After two, 10-minute overtime periods of scoreless play, the teams went to a best-of-five penalty stroke contest.

Freshman attacker Becky Sebastian lined a shot into the lower left corner to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead. After Eng and Hereford senior goalie Christina Restivo traded saves, sophomore defender Sam Sebastian lifted a shot off Eng's glove and into the top left corner to extend the Bulls' lead to two.

Restivo then gloved a shot by Centennial junior midfielder Courtney Siegal to seal the victory for Hereford.

Restivo turned away three shots in a penalty-stroke upset of top-ranked Towson in the regional final, and said yesterday that she has never felt more confident than in penalty-stroke situations.

"It really helps you with your confidence level," Restivo said. "It gives me a little bit of an edge against the shooters."

Eagles coach Gail Purcell said she believed the key was her team's lack of experience on the state tournament setting.

"It's a tough thing," she said. "All eyes are on you. Nerves, fatigue, the chilly weather -- I think a number of things came into play today."

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