Patapsco demonstrated it could play defense while dropping its opening game to Hammond on Friday, 1-0 in overtime.

The Bears controlled the ball and consistently applied pressure to the Patriot goal, but weren’t able to score until the final minutes of overtime for a 1-0 victory.

Of course, Patapsco’s attack needs to do more to relieve pressure on the Patriot defense.

“Our keeper, [Melody Blahut] was amazing,” Patapsco coach Steve Dorfman said. “Her hard work inspires er teammates in front of her to play harder.

“Hard work will be the hallmark of our team this year, and we displayed that in our first game.”

In addition to several good saves by Blahut, freshman defender Jasmine Artis played well and kept the game from ending in regulation by clearing a ball off the goal line before it could roll in for a score.

“She was a revelation in the back,” Dorfman said of Artis. “Additionally, Maddie Chester, a senior, stepped up into a bigger role and played controlled and smart.”

Despite Hammond controlling possession, the Patapsco midfield of Lanyia Jacobs, Alexis Mariano and Cami Williams limited the Bears’ shooting opportunities.

“Offensively, we have to do a better job of possessing the ball and connecting on passes, rather than resorting to only sending long balls.” Dorfman said.

Patapsco was to play at Sparrows Point on Tuesday after The Eagle went to press. The Patriots next home game is not until Sept. 26 against Owings Mills.

Sparrows Point played in the Privates vs. Publics Showcase at Mercy High School on Saturday, and lost to Notre Dame Prep 1-0.

The Pointers host North County High on Friday, with the next home game on Sept. 24 against Perry Hall.

Dundalk was to open its season on Friday against Institute of Notre Dame, but the visitors never showed up for the game.

The Owls next home game is Sept. 24 against Carver A&T.

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