The No. 13 Hereford Bulls are no stranger to field hockey’s post-season and have played in their share of overtime periods, but the Bulls put both of those experiences together, Monday, to pass the C. Milton Wright Mustangs, 1-0, and advance to the 3A North Regional Final.

One hour of field hockey just wasn’t enough for the two team battle, which saw a combined 18 corners and 15 shots, but it was one shot from Hereford’s Mary Claire Abbott in the 63rd minute that gave the Bulls their 12th win of 2010.

“I was just thinking that I wanted to win this for Allie Hackbarth,” Abbott said.  “I just knew I had to crank it, so I aimed for the corner and shot as hard as I could and it went in.”

During the scoreless battle in regulation, Hackbarth suffered a serious injury to her head when she seemingly slammed it against the metal post of the goal and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.  Fortunately, Hereford coach Tammy Mundie reported that Hackbarth would be OK.

“I think the girls were very upset because she isn’t just our best player, but she is our most spirited and really has a presence on the field,” explained Mundie.  “When she went down, I think her safety was their first worry, and once they realized she was ok, they realized they had to make up the difference, and they did that.”

Throughout the game, the Bulls (12-2) applied a tremendous amount of pressure on the Mustangs (9-7-1), working nine corners for eight shots in the first half, but pushing harder shots in the second half worked their way towards the overtime win.

“I think we were a little slow to start, but we finally got our groove on and started playing a little faster, stronger and more powerful,” Mundie said.  “I just don’t think we were finishing.  We were playing ok, but we weren’t playing quick enough, fast enough and not stepping up to the ball.”

Seeing limited shots throughout the game, the Mustangs relied on balanced passing and tight defense to keep their team in the game through the first 60 minutes of play.

“We had a great passing game going,” Mustang head coach Bonnie Schnell said.  “I think we caught them off guard.

Hackbarth“We have been working on that for the last two days, because we don’t have turf, so we have been practicing that.  It just hurts when you play as well as you do and lose in overtime on one shot.”

In the strong showing by the defense, C. Milton’s Danielle King, Boo Muscella and Lindsay Boyle helped lead the Stangs through more than four consecutive Bull-corners nearing the end of the first half, and the more than 15 shot attempts by Hereford,

“We marked the post very well,” Schnell said.  “We marked extremely closely and were moving our feet, but they are good under pressure.

“We started the season having lost two extremely good defensive players.  The heart of our team was defense last year, but a lot of people stepped up this year.  Boo Muscella and Lindsay Boyle fit very well into those spots, and we had our ups and downs, but most of the time we only lost by a point.

With the win, the Bulls will once again advance to the 3A North Regional Finals, facing the winner of No. 12 North Harford and Parkville.

“I think we have to mentally get ourselves into the game at the very start,” Mundie explained for the rest of the Bulls’ post-season.  “At the first blow of the whistle, and not wait to make things happen towards the end, because we might not get that chance to win like we did here.”

Hereford 1, C. Milton Wright 0
C. Milton Wright


HER-Betsill 1; CMW-VanScyoc 7.
HER-12; CMW-3.