Ward’s tip-in goal leads to a 1-0 victory over Hereford for 2A state championship
CLASS 2A STATE FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONS
by John Niswander
Special to VSN
Liberty High won its second state field hockey title in three seasons with a 1-0 victory over in the Class 2A final at Washington College Saturday evening.
“It feels awesome,” Lions coach Brenda Strohmer said. “I mean 2A is tough. We have been trying and knocking at the door last year and then this year to get here, it is just a tough division. Then to win and beat two teams that are in the finals every year is just amazing.”
The Carroll County school (17-2 overall), which won the 1A crown in 2016, Liberty knocked out Glenelg, last year’s 2A state champions, in the semifinals Wednesday.
“I am so excited, we worked so hard to get here,” Lions sophomore Kayleigh Ward said. “Throughout the whole entire season our first goal was counties, our second goal was regionals, and after we won regionals states here we come.”
Ward scored the game’s only goal with just under 13 minutes remaining on a deflection from a long hit by sophomore Maggie Heffler.
“Maggie drove the ball in, and it was a perfect hit,” Ward said. “That is honestly how we have scored a lot of our goals with just a drive in and then a tip. I just tipped it and it made it in.”
Hereford (12-7) was on the attack for most of the game, but was unable to convert any chances on the offensive end into goals.
Liberty senior goalie Grace Fenner made 10 saves, including a few clutch ones down the stretch to prevent any tying tally from the Bulls.
“I think we came out and dominated most of the play today,” Hereford coach Caitlin Duvall said. “My girls had a great passing game. I am really proud of them for getting to this point. I think they played one heck of a game. We fought hard. It just didn’t go the way we anticipated.”
CLASS 2A FIELD HOCKEY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
(at Washington College)
NO. 12 LIBERTY 1, NO. 13 HEREFORD 0
GOAL: LIB-Kayleigh Ward
ASSIST: LIB-Maggie Heffler.
SAVES: LIB-Grace Fenner 10; HERE-Sydney Lippe 3.