Hereford tops Dulaney for threepeat

Bulls capture another Balto. County title, 2-0

Field hockey

October 22, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Hereford's field hockey team used the artificial turf at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium like an extra man last night as the No. 11 Bulls won their third straight Baltimore County championship.

The Bulls worked the turf to perfection with precision passing, quick deflections for goals and a smothering defensive performance to take a 2-0 victory over No. 14 Dulaney.

"Ever since we lost to Rising Sun in the state championship [last fall on artificial turf at Maryland], we knew we had to step it up on turf," said Bulls defender Melissa Harrison. "We're a passing team, and turf is a passing game."

Both Bulls goals came in the final nine minutes of the first half off assists from Becky Sebastian. Jessica Bulala and Amy Valerino deflected Sebastian's drives, redirecting them away from Dulaney goalie Kathleen Smith.

Hereford (11-2) had a chance to extend its lead early in the second half, but Lions defender Megan Armstrong deflected the ball away. Later in the half, Smith made a terrific play to save another potential Hereford goal.

The Bulls, who have beaten 10 straight opponents by a composite 63-1, simply seemed more comfortable on turf, where the ball moves much more quickly and smoothly than on the teams' home field natural grass.

After the early minutes, the Bulls' defensive tandem of Harrison and Krissy Carls shut down the Lions until late in the second half.

Dulaney's best chance to score came in the opening series, when the Lions managed three straight shots, two saved by Bulls first-half goalie Sam Bergman. Dulaney (9-3-1) managed a couple of weaker attempts late in the game, but most of the time, the Lions struggled just to move the ball down field.

"They shut us down almost every single time, and that's what it's about, being able to shut the dribbler down," said Lions coach Karen Casperite. "My girls started to get frustrated and couldn't find their options. They couldn't seem to make anything happen."

The Bulls, who also beat Dulaney in last year's title game, have not lost to the Lions in at least four years. While the Bulls have been to the county final four straight years, the Lions won their last title, sharing it with Catonsville, in 2000.

Hereford's only loss to a Baltimore County foe this season came in the season opener, a 3-2 defeat by Towson, the team Dulaney edged, 1-0, on Monday to earn its berth in the title game.

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