Middletown’s 7-0 run to close the first half was more than Hereford could handle in a Class 2A girls lacrosse state semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Havre de Grace High School.

The Knights, from Frederick County, did just about everything right while building a 10-2 halftime advantage, as they coasted into the 2A state championship game with a 17-4 victory.

The Bulls, on the other hand, had managed to stay within striking range early in the opening quarter on goals by senior Lindsey Moneymaker and Maddy Izzo until the Knights lowered the boom.

Middletown (16-2) kept at it in the second half, pumping in five straight goals to force a running clock while boosting the lead to 15-2.

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Hereford (9-6) finally snapped a 24-minute drought on a goal by Kennedy Ziegler before Izzon notched her second goal of the game to complete what was an all-around tough day for Kelly Swift’s squad.

Middletown coach Tyler White could find nothing to complain about his team’s stellar performance.

“It was fun to watch,” he said. “You play the game you love — have fun. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

Observing leading scorer Ellery Bowman, who eclipsed the 90-goal, 100-point mark for the season by ripping the Bulls for six goals and an assist, is at least one of the many reasons why White was so enthused about his team’s effort and execution.

The Knights’ defense, anchored by senior goalie Helen Bartman (8 saves), was stout all afternoon, allowing very few open looks. When the Bulls did break through, more often than not Bartman was in perfect position to make the save/\.

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“We played as a team today, up and down the field,” White added. “Communication is key, especially in girls’ lacrosse. We’ve been working on that hard, and, man, they did it. It’s about being patient, and finding those gaps. We got some lucky breaks, too.”

There wasn’t much to say for Swift, whose team ran into a juggernaut.

“We’ve been battle-tested all season,” she said. “We worked hard, we did what we were supposed to do. It just didn’t come together. (Middletown) played great. Can’t take anything away from that. Our offense just struggled getting into a flow. Defense had some great moments and some not-so-great moments. It’s unfortunate that it got a little out of hand there.”

CLASS 2A GIRLS LACROSSE STATE SEMIFINAL

(AT HAVRE DE GRACE HIGH SCHOOL)

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MIDDLETOWN 17, HEREFORD 4

Hereford 2 2 — 4

Middletown 10 7 — 17

Goals: Hereford-Maddy Izzo 2, Kennedy Ziegler, Lindsey Moneymaker; Middletown-Kate Stevenson 3, Delaney Sheridan, Ellery Bowman 6, Amy Grace Bizell 3, Vetra Winchester Dodman 2, Kate Stamper 2.

Assists-Hereford Maya Antonakas; Middletown-Amy Grace Bizell, Abby LaPadula, Kate Stevenson, Josie Boniface, Ellery Bowman.

Saves: Hereford-Grace Berquist, MK McGonigle; Middletown-Helen Bartman 8.

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