Goalie Audrey Simoes took a break from lacrosse last spring, but when she stepped back into Dulaney’s starting lineup, she filled the only hole in the defense.
Friday afternoon, the senior made 12 saves and the Lions’ stingy defense led the way to a 9-5 victory over No. 13 Hereford for their first win over the Bulls since 2018.
“I’m just so happy right now,” Simoes said after topping the four-time defending Baltimore County champions.
“I think it shows other teams that we’re nothing to mess around with and that we’re a serious team and we’re going to come out strong. This is our second game, so we haven’t even had that many games with each other yet.”
Junior attacker Anna Jones, who had three goals and three assists, said the visiting Lions (2-0, 1-0 division) had so much energy getting off the bus that they believed they could pull the upset.
“I feel like this is proving it to ourselves that we can do it,” Jones said, “This early in the season if we’re that good, I can’t imagine how good we’re going to get.”
The attack drew a lot of energy, Jones said, from a defense that was the best she’s ever seen.
Maya Tarantino, Becca Melito, Brooke Ellis, London MacFarlane and Max Yeakel did a terrific job keeping Hereford’s shooters off balance. Against that defense, the Bulls (1-1, 0-1 division) often turned the ball over, rushed their attack or took low-percentage shots. Simoes also picked off a lot of their good shots.
“I thought their defense played great,” Hereford coach Kelly Swift said. “Our offense had a really tough time making the right decisions on the passes. They were throwing it in when a girl had two people on her and we were just telling them to calm down …, but lots of dropped passes which isn’t usually like them. Their goalie played unbelievable, but we didn’t help ourselves either.”
Simoes, who continued to play club lacrosse last year, saved the first shot of the game before teammate Sarah Crowley scored on a free position to put the Lions on the board in less than two minutes.
Jones scored on another free position four minutes later before Hereford’s Lindsey Moneymaker, who finished with three goals, cut the lead in half.
Jones added another free-position goal and Natalie Crowley scored on a nifty spin move to boost Dulaney’s lead to 4-1 with 10 minutes, 41seconds left in the half.
The Bulls then scored three straight to tie at 4, their only multi-goal spurt of the game. Moneymaker netted back-to-back free-position goals before freshman goalie Grace Berquist’s save set up the tying goal from Maya Antonakas with 1:06 left in the half.
The tie didn’t last long. With 18 seconds left, the Lions took the lead for good when Jones found Elena Emde open in the arc.
Dulaney’s defense clamped down after the break, holding Hereford scoreless until 3:27 remained. The Bulls missed their first eight shots of the half and Simoes saved five of them.
During the Bulls drought, the Lions scored four times with two goals from Heidi Schmidt and one each from Jones and Emde to run the lead to 9-4.
Simoes gave a lot of credit to the defense for a key adjustment that made her job easier.
“We play a backer defense, so we changed it up,” she said. “They were doing a lot of one-v-ones, so we decided to pressure out to ball and have the baker (Ellis) on the eight behind so when they drove, we would have someone there and it really worked. Our communication was really great and we were able to have first slides, second slides, third slides, all communicating. It worked amazing.”
Dulaney coach Kristi Korrow said junior captains Tarantino and Ellis did a great job leading the defense. Since the cancelled COVID-19 season in 2020, she said her team has been small, so she’s kept a lot of freshmen on varsity and that’s paying off. This team is still young, with just three seniors, but it is a veteran group.
“They talk so well. We really emphasize communication this year and they’re buying into what we’re trying to get them to do. They’re all for it,” Korrow said. “Audrey had a phenomenal game and she’s just so unassuming in there, but man, she gets fired up and when she gets on a roll, she’s hard to beat. She anchors the defense and they get fired up when she makes a big save.”
DULANEY 9, NO. 15 HEREFORD 5
Dulaney 5 4 — 9
Hereford 4 1 — 5
GOALS: D—Anna Jones 3, Elena Emde 2, Heidi Schmidt 2, Natalie Crowley, Sarah Crowley; H—Lindsey Moneymaker 3, Maya Antonakas, Eleni Yates.
ASSISTS: D—Anna Jones 3, Natalie Crowley, Mia Connor; H—Katie Burks.
SAVES: D—Audrey Simoes 12; H—Grace Berquist 3.