Hereford upsets No. 1 Towson for title

Eighth-ranked Bulls hand Generals first defeat in Balto. County final, 2-1

Field hockey High Schools

October 22, 2002|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Danielle Wacker framed the perfect photo finish for Hereford's upset victory over No. 1 Towson in yesterday's Baltimore County field hockey championship.

On a corner play, Wacker polished off a diagonal pass from Katherine Giauque for the game-winner with 11:32 to go. Giauque's pass came from the left and Wacker nailed it into the right corner of the cage, giving the No. 8 Bulls a 2-1 victory on Towson's stadium field.

"I remember it perfectly. It's just like a picture in my mind," Wacker said. "I'll never forget it."

Neither will her teammates, who dealt the Generals their first loss of the season in overwhelming style. The Bulls, who lost, 2-1, to Towson on Oct. 5, dominated possession yesterday with their short passing game, outshooting Towson 16-5 and mounting a 17-3 advantage in penalty corners.

"We have a very controlled game," said Bulls stellar midfielder Sarah Tracey. "We're not much on hitting and getting in. We like passing, we like stick skills and we just had it together. This feels pretty good. I've never been county champion in all my years on varsity."

During those four years, the Bulls (11-2) and the Generals (12-1) have staged some classic games, none tighter than the regional final a year ago, when the Bulls upset No. 1 Towson in a shootout and went on to claim a share of the Class 2A state title.

Their other five most recent meetings have been decided by a single goal. Towson won last year's county title over the Bulls, but Hereford has knocked the Generals out of the regional playoffs the past two years.

Yesterday, the Generals got the early jump. Hayley Mershon nailed a drive off Shannon Band's corner pass for a 1-0 lead in less than four minutes.

After that, Hereford controlled about 90 percent of the game.

In the final 4:15 before halftime, the Bulls hammered Towson with eight shots on seven penalty corners. Sam Sebastian slammed a shot off the left post, but nothing got through a Towson defense that had allowed only two goals all season.

Mershon blocked two shots, and Alex Chambers made a stick save on another. Goalie Jessy Willse made two saves.

On Hereford's first corner of the second half -- its 11th of the game --Sebastian converted a pass from Tracey to tie the score.

The Generals now look forward to their next chance at the Bulls, likely in the regional final.

"We always say it's hard to beat a team three times in one season," said Towson senior Jocelyn Paul. "This is our one loss. Last year, we beat them twice, and when it came to regional finals, it was hard to beat them. Now, it's 1-1."

No. 9 Mount Hebron 1, No. 12 Glenelg 1: The Vikings (9-1-2, 8-0-1) held off a furious rally by the Gladiators (10-0-3, 6-0-3) in double overtime to preserve a tie and take the Howard County title outright at Wilde Lake.

Mount Hebron won its first county title since 1997. Had Glenelg scored off one of its eight penalty corners in the final 10 minutes, the two teams would have been co-champions.

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