Hereford High boys’ lacrosse team viewed Monday evening’s non-league match with Severna Park with extra emphasis. The defending Class 3A/2A state champ Bulls figured that nothing would better serve as a calling card than a victory over the reigning 4A/3A state title holders.

It was far from a resounding statement, but No. 7 Hereford was able to grind out a 6-4 decision over the No. 10 Falcons in Parkton. Senior attack Tyler Dimes and sophomore Joe Seider each scored a goal and had an assist for the Bulls (6-0 overall).

The Baltimore County powerhouse withstood an attack by Severna Park (3-1) in the closing seconds to extend its winning streak to 23 games dating back to last season. Hereford coach Brian King was appreciative on a beautiful early spring evening where his team didn’t play its best.

“It wasn’t pretty, I think we willed our way out of it, but good teams find a way,” said King, whose team has won the last 3A/2A state crowns. “I think we’re putting in the pieces that graduated last year quite nicely.”

One of those newcomers, sophomore Conor Cunningham was solid in goal with eight saves with senior Will Bittner, Austin Brown, Cory Nettelton and Eli Hess leading a longstick unit that held the Anne Arundel County stronghold to its lowest output of the young season. The Falcons were scoreless for more than 28 minutes until senior Joe Galdi unassisted score with 2 minutes, 28 seconds remaining in regulation, brought them to within 5-4. Severna Park regained possession with 1:37 left.

After a timeout, Matt Cutlip whipped a shot from the top that caromed off the post with 52 seconds remaining, but Severna Park won the groundball. Avery Littlejohn’s pass to Nate Neal near the crease went wide with 28 seconds left to play, and Hereford gained possession with 17 seconds left.

Bulls’ junior midfielder Morgan Pritchett fired a shot past Falcons goalie Alec Rzepkowski at the final horn to close out the victory. Though its offense sputtered most of the evening, Bittner said Hereford’s defense was amped for the challenge.

“We came out looking for respect. You have two great teams playing out there.

Galdi opened the scoring Monday less than two minutes into the game, but Hereford responded midway in the first period with an extra-man score from Jack Bryant (assisted by Dimes). The Bulls got a transition opportunity and senior Chuck Stafford finished off a pass from Seider.

Severna Park regained the advantage with scores from Neal and Galdi. Seider made a couple of moves to get inside his defender and beat Pasiuk for a 2-2 tie with 2:10 left in the first half. Dimes’ extra man tally early in the third gave the Bulls for the lead for good.

conor cunningham and nick bittnerPasiuk held strong the rest of the quarter as Hereford missed on numerous chances. At the start of the final quarter, shortstick defender Vince DePaola scooped up a groundball, went downfield and fired a shot into the net, giving Hereford a two-goal cushion.

The Bulls won all the key categories including groundballs, faceoffs, extra man opportunities (Hereford 3-for-7; Severna Park 0-for-5) and shots (36-29). Despite that, Severna Park was inches away from possibly sending the game into overtime.

“We had opportunities and then we hit the pipe, but what you going to do,” said Kramer, whose team’s 23-game winning streak was ended. “Hereford played a great game. It’s early in the season and we have to get better.”

Hereford is also a work in progress, but got a huge confidence boost Monday evening. The Bulls return to Baltimore County league play at Franklin Wednesday.

“We just have to move on, keep playing and try to win another state championship,” said Seider.