Dabkowski's late goal clinches county title for Dulaney in girls lacrosse win over Hereford
Dulaney senior Kaitlyn Dabkowski scored the game-winning goal with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to lift the host Lions to a 14-13 victory over Hereford (10-4) in the Baltimore County girls lacrosse championship game.
Dabkowski scored on a free-position bounce shot and dethroned the defending Baltimore County champions.
Hereford defeated Dulaney, 10-9, in last year's county title game.
Dabkowski, who will play at the University of Florida next season, led the Lions in scoring with five goals, but it was the final one, that will last a lifetime.
"It was just insane," Dabkowski said. "We had a huddle before and the team all had my back, so I knew I had it and it was just a great hard-fought game."
Dulaney (10-4) had called a time out before the play and Dulaney coach Kristi Korrow had a message for her team.
"Enjoy the moment, embrace it and handle the pressure," Korrow said. "All of the girls were excited and everybody had incredible confidence in Kaitlyn that that she would be able to put that away."
Hereford coach Anne Ensor wasn't so confident her team could send the game into overtime.
"For Dulaney, that's who they want to have the ball with that amount of time left," Ensor said. "There's lots of ways to lose. You don't like any of them, but it was a hard-fought crowd pleaser and I'll sleep tonight."
Dabkowski, who left to get ready for her senior prom after the game may have trouble sleeping, after making plays all over the field.
When she wasn't corralling draws and starting the offense, she was finishing.
"If there is somebody that I could pick out to have the ball at the end her name definitely comes up," Korrow said. "She is a fantastic athlete, incredibly dynamic, both on the offensive and defensive end, and certainly in the midfield."
While the final goal may have been the most dramatic, she had one in the first half when she intercepted an attempted clear and scored into an empty net to give the Lions a 9-6 lead with 2:05 left in the first half.
It was the largest lead of the game for either side.
"The interception was a really good play and it was good with my teammates to start that, Dabkowski said.
The teams were evenly matched for most of the half and the game was tied at one, two, three, four and five.
Hereford got three goals in the first half from Kylie Nause (game-high six goals) and two goals and strong play on the draws from Isabella Peterson (three goals) and Dulaney got a pair of goals from Bridget Kelly and Maggie Kelly and took a 9-7 lead into intermission.
Nause's score made it 9-8 with 24:31 left in the second half, but Dabkowski answered and the Lions had a two-goal lead.
Libby May assisted Nause from behind the goal, but Casey O'Grady bumped the lead back to two, 11-9 on a free position goal with 18:59 left.
Hereford battled back to even, 11-11, on goals by Peterson and freshman Anna Brandt.
Brandt's tying goal came after her initial free-position shot was rejected by Dulaney goalie Hanna Slomkowski, who played the second half after Madison Hine was in the goal in the first half.
Hereford freshman goalie Sam Swope kept the game close with eight saves in the second half.
"Their goalie came up big and definitely shifted momentum there," Korrow said.
Hereford tied the game at 12-12 on when Brandt finished after weaving through the defense with 6:24 remaining.
Nause broke the tie with 5:30 left when she cut toward the crease with her stick raised and converted a nice feed from May.
Hereford had a 13-12 lead and the ball with 3:50 left when the Bulls called a time out.
They milked that clock until Brandt's shot was saved by Slomkowski with 1:50 remaining.
"We were hoping to get the clock down a little bit more, but I think it will serve us well in another tight game under pressure," Ensor said. "That's a long time to hold onto the ball against a strong defense so you take a chance."
Maggie Kelly won the next critical draw and got the ball to Dabkowski, who was fouled on a wide shot setting up the game-winning goal.
During Dulaney's time out with 8.1 seconds remaining, she had no idea what she wanted to do on the free-position shot.
"I threw in a fake and just bounced it," Dabkowski said.
Both coaches knew the game was evenly matched, despite the fact the Lions beat the Bulls, 15-10, on April 26.
"The Hereford-Dulaney matchup is always a game of momentum swings and sometimes you get lucky and you can ride those and come away with a win and other times, like today, it was a nail-biter all the way until the end," Korrow said.
Her-Nause 6, Peterson 3, Brandt 2, Eber 1, Cavallero 1
Assists: Dul-Lipstein 3, O'Grady 2, Dabkowski 1; Her-May 2, Eber 2, Williams 1