Bulls regain the offensive

Wittelsberger provides scoring punch that helps send Hereford's field hockey team back to state playoffs

Notebook

November 09, 2005|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

After graduating seven strong starters from last year's state Class 2A champion field hockey team, Hereford need a spark to ignite a little offense and pick the Bulls back up.

Junior forward Mary Katharine Wittelsberger stepped right in to help the Bulls get back to the state tournament for the 16th time in the program's history.

This afternoon, they'll meet Patuxent in the semifinal at Howard High at 2:45. The Bulls are aiming for their fifth title and their third since 2001.

Wittelsberger has scored 23 goals and contributed five assists in 15 games. In last week's regional victories over Eastern Tech, 6-0, and Loch Raven, 3-1, she scored five goals and had two assists.

"She's got good stickwork and adds a real punch on attack," Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said. "She's one of those girls who makes it her goal to score in every game. I like that. She gets real antsy if she hasn't scored yet. She's just bursting and you know she's going to score."

Even though Wittelsberger did not start last season, she and senior midfielder Allison Dulin quickly developed a rapport that keeps the Bulls on the move.

While Wittelsberger is being recruited for lacrosse, Dulin has concentrated on field hockey, playing for the Ocelots club team. The senior has committed to play hockey at Davidson.

Wittelsberger's scoring and Dulin's control of the midfield have eased the pressure on a young Bulls defense, giving them time to improve as a unit. Sophomore Mandy Pace, who moved up from junior varsity at the end of last season, has blossomed in the backfield.

Although the Bulls started slowly, they have improved to 10-3-2, tied Towson for the Baltimore County championship and are in the state semifinals for a third straight year.

Running regionals

The Dulaney girls team's reign atop the cross country poll ended when then-No. 3 C. Milton Wright upended the Lions at the Class 4A North regional championships at Dulaney on Thursday.

Dulaney, which had captured the previous 11 regional crowns, placed five runners in the top 11, but the team's 31 points weren't enough to catch the Mustangs, the 2004 Class 3A state titlists, who earned 29 points and their fifth regional championship in the past seven years.

Woodlawn junior Dwight Parker collected his second consecutive regional championship as he cruised to the finish line in 15 minutes, 46.28 seconds.

In the Class 3A North region, Dundalk senior Allen Hawkins and Catonsville took top honors on the boys side, while Franklin senior and county champion Michelle Donadio and Towson claimed titles on the girls side.

Hereford swept three of four crowns in the Class 2A North region. Freshman Kristen Malloy won in 20:03.86, pacing the No. 5 Bulls to their second straight regional title.

The boys team also won its second consecutive crown, and the individual championship went to Loch Raven junior Patrick Glassman.

Lions shut out foes

Maryvale proved one of the stingiest field hockey teams around this season, yielding just eight goals in 22 games.

Starting goalie Kate Quick allowed four goals in the 21 games she played and shut out 18 of those opponents, including John Carroll in Sunday's 0-0 quadruple overtime tie for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship.

Quick wasn't the only one excelling in the back for the No. 12 Lions (20-2-1). Defenders Ashley Manocheh, Mary Lenoir and Amanda Aumiller made Quick's life a lot easier, keeping a lot of balls from reaching her.

"We just back each other up really well," Lenoir said. "If a person goes to the ball, and if we see she's out of position, we'll back up her position. It's just a lot of exchanging positions and backing each other up."

Lenoir said Quick's anticipation has kept a lot of teams from getting scoring opportunities. In the first overtime of Sunday's title game, Quick cleared two balls out of the circle to keep the charging Patriots from getting a shot.

"She comes out early," Lenoir said, "so if they get a fast break, they don't have a chance to go one-on-one with her. She really knows when to come out. She can judge that really well."

Although the Lions didn't want to share the title, they weren't complaining Sunday after battling through 94 minutes of scoreless field hockey with John Carroll on the turf at Villa Julie's Owings Mills campus.

"To go to co-champions, you've got to take what you get," Maryvale coach Duane Verderaime said. "It's tough after winning every game [against B Conference opponents] and beating them twice already this year. But I'm excited for everybody. I'm excited for both teams."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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