S. River stops Dulaney to hit Class 4A title game

Bierley's early goal holds up for No. 5 Seahawks

South River 1 Dulaney 0

Field hockey

November 09, 2006|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN REPORTER

Scoring early and controlling play the rest of the way, two-time defending field hockey state champion South River effectively removed any suspense in last night's Class 4A state semifinal against Dulaney.

Senior forward Melissa Bierley's 14th goal of the season - coming four minutes into the game off a pass from sophomore Stephanie Peterson - was protected with a decisive edge in territory, resulting in a 1-0 win for the No. 5 Seahawks at Broadneck High.

The Seahawks (16-3) had an 8-0 advantage in shots on goal and took 10 penalty corners to the Lions' one. And junior goalie Virginia Jorden didn't need to record a save in the team's 10th shutout.

South River will go for the program's fourth state title and third straight against Quince Orchard - a 1-0 overtime winner over Walt Whitman in yesterday's other semifinal - on Tuesday at College Park. The game is set for 7 p.m.

"We played very well from the start. I was hoping to get a couple more in the cage, but we played very well. Our defense played great. Virginia [Jorden] didn't even touch the ball I don't think, so I was very happy with how today went," South River coach Katie Corcoran said.

After pressuring to earn three penalty corners in the opening minutes, the Seahawks scored when Peterson gained possession to the right of the cage and pushed a pass to the middle for Bierley, who quickly banged it home for the 1-0 lead. Combined, the two have 21 goals and 32 assists this season.

"Stephanie and I have been working the past two years together and we had a perfect connection," Bierley said. "I was telling her where I was, but she just knew I was going to be there because that's where we're used to each other being. Now, we're going for the threepeat - it's exciting."

The Lions' best scoring chance came with less than five minutes left on their only corner when senior Kristen Horsman took a shot from the right side that was blocked by senior defender Heather Bresnahan before it reached the cage. Despite the setback, coach Karen Masoner of Dulaney (11-2-2) saw positives in the Lions' season.

"I think over the past couple of years, it's all starting to come together for us. But I think they're a couple steps ahead of [us] still - we're getting there," she said.

"The season was fabulous. We beat Hereford twice in one season - one for the [Baltimore] County championship. C. Milton Wright was our only loss and we came back to beat them in the regional. Everything was clicking. I honestly thought we were going to step into tonight and continue, but we just weren't clicking."


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