Bullis beat the eventual Independent School League champion Saints for the first time in program history last year, making it difficult to maintain the role of underdog in this season’s rematch.
“Last year when we beat the Saints it was almost like the worst thing that could have happened,” Bullis Coach Julie Delinsky said. “There was pressure on us and we didn’t know how to handle it. It’s a different mentality when you’re not the underdog.”
Bullis lost three of its next five games after its banner win last season, and was bounced in the first round of the ISL Tournament against Holy Child.
Delinsky said her team is better prepared this year to be on its rivals’ radar, and has worked on building mental toughness to handle situations like the one they will face Thursday.
There are seven seniors on this year’s roster – including All-League performer Idrienne Walker, two-way player Colette Roa and speedy goal scorer Jordan Sullivan – and sophomore midfielder Jessica Mays and goalkeeper Sarah Holliday have also made major contributions in their second varsity season.
“Our talent has more experience now,” Delinsky said. “Being able to handle the pressure and what comes with that and perform when the pressure is on is what we have to do to win this league. We weren’t able to do that last year and it remains to be seen whether we can this year.”
Returning All-Met Marissa Balleza scored twice Tuesday as Severna Park avenged an earlier loss with a 2-0 win over Broadneck. The Falcons play South River next Wednesday. ... Glenelg was scheduled to face Howard County rival Atholton (8-1) on Wednesday and Mount Hebron (10-2) on Friday. ... District tournaments will begin in Virginia as early as Monday.
(Records through Tuesday.)
1. South River (9-1-1) Last week: 1
2. Glenelg (9-1) LW: 2
3. Westfield (13-2) LW: 3
4. Severna Park (8-2) LW: 5
5. Broadneck (9-3) LW: 4
6. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (9-3) LW: 6
7. Wootton (9-0-1) LW: 7
8. Bullis (9-0) LW: 8
9. Sherwood (11-0) LW: 9
10. Fairfax (14-1) LW: 10