Here­ford con­trols Bucs on way to fi­nal

Bulls break tie early in the se­cond, tack on two more goals

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

Here­ford 4 Kent Is­land 1

BURTONSVILLE — Here­ford High’s Anna Brandt took pos­ses­sion of the ball and be­gan a 75-yard bro­ken-field run that would have earned the ad­mi­ra­tion from many a run­ning back tot­ing a foot­ball.

Han­dling the ball as if it were danc­ing on the end of her stick, Brandt charged straight down the mid­dle of the field, dodged de­fend­ers, made a hard right some­where around the 20-yard line, then un­loaded a tigh­tan­gled rocket that banged into the back of the cage for the tiebreak­ing goal 3 min­utes, 39 sec­onds into the se­cond half.

“She took it all the way down the field,” Kent Is­land head field hockey coach Jami Wilt said of Brandt’s mad dash. “My goalie was so up­set. That’s the rea­son why I called the timeout. I could see she was up­set. And I told her, I said, ‘You can’t be up­set. She went past every­body on the field, and I think a few girls that were stand­ing on the side­line at the time. It was not you. There was no stop­ping her.’”

There was no stop­ping the pres­sure Here­ford heaped on the Buc­ca­neers on both ends of the field Wed­nes­day night at Paint Branch High, as the Bulls added two more se­cond-half goals en route to a 4-1 vic­tor y in a Class 2A state semi­fi­nal.

Here­ford (13-6) will play Lib­erty (16-2) for the 2A state cham­pi­onship Satur­day at 6:30 p.m. at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege.

“We were hold­ing them off,” said Wilt, who watched the Bulls dom­i­nate time of pos­ses­sion mid­way through the first half be­fore Ri­ley Teng­wall zipped a shot past Here­ford goalie Syd­ney Lippe for a 1-0 Kent Is­land lead with 15:28 left be­fore half­time. “And we scored a great goal. It was a beau­ti­ful goal.

“But the truth of the mat­ter is they were con­trol­ling the whole game,” Wilt con­tin­ued of Here­ford. “And when you see that hap­pen you know it’s just a mat­ter of time un­til things fall apart.”

The Buc­ca­neers (16-3) man­aged to hold off the Bulls for a lit­tle while longer be­fore Brandt sent a cross from right wing that Emily Ready tucked past Kent Is­land goalie Julia

Abend­schoen with 10:53 left in the half. Here­ford con­tin­ued to pres­sure — Brandt buzzing two hard shots wide of the cage — but couldn’t gain the ad­van­tage on the score­board as the teams went into the break tied 1-1.

“Con­stant, con­stant, con­stantly be­ing shot at,” Wilt said of her de­fense. “And

the shots were hard. My de­fense, they were in­cred­i­ble in the first half.”

But that de­fense could not dif­fuse the Bulls’ un­re­lent­ing pres­sure in the se­cond half.

Brandt went on her im­pres­sive 75-yard scor­ing rush to give Here­ford a 2-1 lead with 26:21 re­main­ing. Wilt called time with just un­der 25 min­utes re­main­ing to set­tle her team, but didn’t have an an­swer for the Bulls’ in­ten­sity at both ends.

“The cou­ple of times that we got our pass­ing go­ing we moved the ball down the field but we just couldn’t get it past them,” said Wilt, whose team fin­ished with five shots to Here­ford’s 14.

Here­ford vir­tu­ally sealed a fi­nals berth with a onetwo scor­ing punch mid­way through the se­cond half.

With 16:58 left, Macken­zie McKil­lop drove a hard blast from the right side of the cage that slammed into the back of the cage for a 3-1

lead. Just 1:12 later, Abend­schoen (six saves) made a nice ini­tial stop on an­other hard drive, but the Bucs couldn’t clear the re­bound be­fore Katie Martino flicked it into the back of the goal for a 4-1 cush­ion.

“They came out first half, we were kind of main­tain­ing our pace,” Here­ford head coach Caitlin Du­vall said. “But then the se­cond half they came out fired up, ready to go. A lot of these kids have been to states. We

lost at states last year and they want to get back and kind of re­deem them­selves.”

If the Bulls play like this Satur­day they may have a chance at their fourth state ti­tle in five years.

“They are a great team,” Wilt said. “They’re al­ways a great team. They pro­duce great play­ers. They have a great coach. Maybe one day we’ll get them.

“I re­ally don’t know what to say other than I hope they win,” Wilt added. “I think

they de­serve to win. I don’t know what the other team looks like be­cause I didn’t watch them. But I’ll tell you what, I know they are go­ing to be a tough team to stop.”

Notes: Here­ford held a 6-1 ad­van­tage on penalty cor­ners. … Lippe made one save . ... Lib­erty ad­vanced with a 2-1 vic­tory over Glenelg in Wed­nes­day’s other semi­fi­nal.

PHOTO BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

Kent Is­land’s Ella Kauf­man (7) car­ries out of the de­fen­sive end dur­ing the se­cond half of Wed­nes­day night’s Class 2A state semi­fi­nal against Here­ford.

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