For the second time this season, a stout defensive performance by Hereford High’s girls’ soccer team through 80 minutes of regulation wasn’t enough against Towson. But the right foot of Tori Stout did the trick.
Stout’s right-footer found the net just thirty seconds into overtime to seal a 1-0 victory over Towson in a Class 3A North Region quarterfinal match in Parkton. The Bulls (12-3-1 overall) will take on No. 5 C. Milton Wright in the regional semifinals Wednesday or Thursday.
Hereford quickly pushed the ball upfield to start the sudden-death period. Senior Kelsey Mattola found sophomore Abby Noble at the top of the goalkeeper’s box, who quickly made the assist to Stout in traffic. Stout pushed her shot right and pass the outstretched arms of junior General goalie Mary Sporre to advance the Bulls’ state title hopes intact.
“I just knew right away to just go to the goal. You cant think of anything else,” said Stout.”Everybody worked hard and just put everything out on the field.”
“We had so many opportunities I just told them to quit fooling around,” said Hereford coach Nancy Ferguson. “I gave them two minutes to score. They didn’t need that much.”
Both teams had numerous opportunities in regulation to put their team in the lead, but weren’t able to capitalize. The Bulls, led by junior stopper Brittani Genco’s defensive presence and senior Michelle Oosterwijk’s five saves, Hereford posted its ninth shutout. .
The win was reminiscent of the Bulls’ 2-1 overtime decision Oct. 20. Towson (4-9 overall) was involved in eight overtime games this fall (3-5).
“The last time we played them, the same thing happened. We took them to OT,” said Towson coach Jeff Tessier. “We wanted to play a more defensive scheme and have the score be 0-0 after the first half. In the second half, we had a few more opportunities but nobody could score.”
Hereford next faces off against Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champ C.M Wright (15-1-1) in the next round. Stout and the Bulls are looking forward to the challenge.
“The win gets us more pumped and ready for the next game,” said Stout. “But this game is behind us now. It was a great win, but there’s a next game.”