- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
It had been 15 years since the Northern field hockey team had won its lone Class 3A state championship and it was hoping to break the curse.
Atholton of Howard County, the eventual state champion, had other ideas as the Raiders barricaded the Patriotsí path after a 4-0 win in the Class 3A state semifinals.
Playing on an unfamiliar turf field, the Patriots yielded two goals in each half in the programís 11th appearance at the state tournament.
Kerfoot has led the team to the state playoffs in three of her four seasons and has a 44-22-1 career coaching record. Northern was 10-5-1 this season.
Atholton had an 11-1 edge in penalty corners and outshot the Patriots 12-1 to snap Northernís eight-game unbeaten streak on a cold and rainy evening. Northernís only shot on goal came in the last three minutes.
The Patriots had only played one game on turf field a semifinal win over La Plata at North Point before the final. The contest was moved to North Point because the field at La Plata, the No. 2 seed in the 3A South Region bracket, was unplayable due to the effects from Hurricane Sandy.
The Patriots, the third seed in 3A South, reached the state semifinals following a 1-0 win over county rival and top-seeded Huntingtown in the regional title game on a goal by Becca Schneider. Carly Cummings, who drew an assist on the winning goal.
The perennial regional finalists have now squared off for the championship in five of the last seven seasons, including the last four.
Northern won in 2006, 2009 and 2010 before Huntingtown wrestled the banner away with a win on last yearís final.
Four of their five finals meetings have been decided by one goal and it was Schneiderís third tally of the season that proved to be the difference.