Mount He­bron rolls

Vik­ings top Ch­e­sa­peake-AA in 3A East; E. Tech beats Owings Mills in 2A North

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Brent Kennedy Bal­ti­more Sun staff con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle. — Pat Stoet­zer, Bal­ti­more Sun Me­dia Group Bal­ti­more Sun staff con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

The No. 4 Mount He­bron boys soc­cer team of­fi­cially put four years of re­gion play­off frus­tra­tion in the rearview mir­ror Mon­day evening.

Op­por­tunis­tic of­fense and lock­down defense were the dif­fer­ence against No. 13 Ch­e­sa­peake-AA in the Class 3A East re­gion cham­pi­onship, as the host Vik­ings built an early lead and never sur­ren­dered it on the way to a 3-1 vic­tory and the pro­gram’s first trip to the state semi­fi­nals since 2011.

“Hon­estly, I’m just thrilled for th­ese guys be­cause they’ve worked so hard to get to this point and they are just such an in­cred­i­bly close group. Not that the teams the last few years weren’t, be­cause they were, but there’s just some­thing spe­cial about this team — they’re not ready for this to be over yet,” Mount He­bron coach Mike Lin­sen­meyer said. “We’re just find­ing ways to win and prob­a­bly play­ing our best soc­cer at the per­fect time.”

Mount He­bron (15-1) ad­vances to face the win­ner of Tow­son’s game with Lans­downe in the 3A state semi­fi­nals on Satur­day at Linganore.

On the other side, Ch­e­sa­peake (12-3-3) had its sea­son come to a close, but not with­out a fight. The team con­trolled pos­ses­sion for long stretches and, af­ter fall­ing be­hind 3-0, showed re­siliency in the lat­ter stages to climb back into the game. Ul­ti­mately, the come­back fell short. “I knew com­ing in that this was a game that could go either way and there were some con­trast­ing styles in terms of them play­ing di­rect and play­ing phys­i­cal. In the end, I thought we had some breaks just not go our way,” Ch­e­sa­peake coach Chris Collins said. “De­spite the score line, I thought it was a lot closer than that might in­di­cate.”

Com­ing off an emo­tional re­gion semi­fi­nal win just three days ear­lier against county ri­val Cen­ten­nial, Mount He­bron showed no signs of a let­down against the Cougars.

In fact, it took only 10 min­utes for the Vik­ings to grab the up­per hand, as Ja­cob Par­rott lofted a 50-yard free kick just over the out­stretched hands of Ch­e­sa­peake goalie Ethan Belcher into the back of the net.

“That goal re­ally did it for us. I mean, we came out and knew it was go­ing to be a hard game and then as soon as we went up the en­ergy just picked up,” Par­rott said. “We knewwhat we­hadto do. We­had­to­keep the Mount He­bron play­ers cel­e­brate their Class 3A East re­gion cham­pi­onship af­ter de­feat­ing Ch­e­sa­peake-AA. The Vik­ings head to the state semi­fi­nals for the first time since 2011. lead, we had to keep go­ing strong.”

Mount He­bron did in­deed keep up its in­ten­sity through the end of the first half, main­tain­ing a 1-0 cush­ion.

Then, just over five min­utes out of in­ter­mis­sion, the Vik­ings padded their lead. This time it was a cor­ner kick by Alex Si­mak that Se­bas­tian To­bar headed into the left side of the net.

“Usu­ally at the end of prac­tices we run over set plays and Alex Si­mak has a re­ally nice set play to the near post. So I just ran near post, got up there and scored,” To­bar said.

Later, with 9:40 left in reg­u­la­tion, Jared Si­mowitz found Johnny Lin­sen­meyer in tran­si­tion to in­crease the lead to 3-0.

But just as the game seemed to be get­ting out of hand, Ch­e­sa­peake im­me­di­ately showed life. The Cougars an­swered less than 20 sec­onds af­ter the Vik­ings’ third goal, cour­tesy of a fin­ish on the right post by An­drew Cole­brook.

“They re­ally pack their defense in, so we either needed a re­ally good out­side shot or we needed that slic­ing pass that would come in. As it turned out, that’s how we scored our goal,” Collins said. “We got that hard run, a ball across and then boom in the back of the goal. That’s what we were work­ing for.”

Ch­e­sa­peake had a few more op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fi­nal min­utes, but never man­aged to beat Mount He­bron goalie Torey Jones (five saves) again be­fore time ran out.

The Vik­ings stormed the field to cele- brate the win and hung around af­ter­ward to take pic­tures with the re­gion cham­pi­onship tro­phy, but the team also was care­ful to re­mind one an­other that there is still work to be done.

“It feels great, but as much as you want to cel­e­brate, you’ve got to move on to the next game and pre­pare for that game,” Par­rott said. “Fri­day night, we won against Cen­ten­nial and it was awe­some and ev­ery­one was su­per pumped, but we had prac­tice the next morn­ing to get ready for to­day. And then tonight, big win, but now we’ve got to start pre­par­ing for Satur­day.”

NO. 12 EAST­ERN TECH 1, OWINGS MILLS 0: A rough-and-tum­ble game was de­cided on a penalty kick. Ahand­ball call set up the shot, and An­thony Ak­in­rin­mola con­nected at the 49th minute to lift the host Mav­er­icks (13-5) over the Ea­gles (7-7-2) in a Class 2A North re­gion fi­nal.

“We had about 17 or 18 restarts at the mid­field af­ter fouls,” East­ern Tech coach Peter Glaude­mann said. “They [Owings Mills] are fast and tech­ni­cally sound. Their goalie did a great job on the res­tart at­tempts. They were very dan­ger­ous on coun­ter­at­tacks and we didn’t let them get be­hind us.”

East­ern Tech, which lost to Spar­rows Point in the sec­ond game of the play­offs last year, faces the win­ner of to­day’s Fall­ston at Kent Is­land game in the state semi­fi­nals Fri­day or Satur­day at River Hill. to over­come deficits in the first and third sets to ad­vance. Reser­voir got a pair of blocks and a pair of kills from Eni­tan Omolewa to build a 13-8 ad­van­tage in the open­ing set, but Mount He­bron climbed back by spread­ing the ball around of­fen­sively.

Eight Vik­ings had a kill, and af­ter they cut the deficit to 20-18 they won the fi­nal seven points with four play­ers get­ting a kill or an ace.

“We have the next-point men­tal­ity,” Moyni­han said. “I tell them not to worry about the score­board ... and they’re buy­ing into that.”

CEN­TURY D. LIB­ERTY, 3-0: The vis­it­ing Knights (8-8) were win­less in six tries against the Lions (8-7) since Bryan Trumbo be­came coach in 2013, in­clud­ing a pair of play­off de­feats and twice this fall in matches that lasted five sets. They de­cided this sea­son’s third meet­ing, in a Class 2A West Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal, would be the end of that slide.

And when they fin­ished off their 25-14, 25-21, 25-15 sweep on the Lions’ home court, the Knights had their sig­na­ture vic­tory of the sea­son.

“I think we were just ready,” said Cen­tury’s Sarah Rig­gin, the team’s libero and lone se­nior. “It was a men­tal game for us the first two times, and we were ready to come out and just fin­ish it.”

Rig­gin, a four-year var­sity player, hadn’t en­joyed a win against her county ri­vals since she started high school. Then, on Mon­day, Rig­gin & Co. put to­gether a dom­i­nant per­for­mance.

Rig­gin had 20 digs and con­trib­uted in Cen­tury’s pass­ing game, al­low­ing the Knights to spread the ball around and feed hit­ters Melissa Bonzelet, Lind­say Robert and Allyson Win­dell.

Young and Win­dell had six kills each, and Bonzelet posted a match-high 13 kills.

“We were con­fi­dent. We knew there was noth­ing to lose,” Bonzelet said. "We knew we had to work to­gether as a team, and that’s ex­actly what we did.”

NO. 3 HOWARD D. MERVO, 3-0: The vis­it­ing Lions (14-2) beat the Mus­tangs (11-3), 26-7, 25-9, 25-12, in a Class 4A North Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal.

ATHOLTON D. STEPHEN DE­CATUR, 3-0: Sam Miller had 12 kills and Lisa Zoch had eight kills to lead the host Raiders (12-4) past the Sea­hawks in a Class 3A East Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal. Atholton won, 25-7, 25-12, 25-7. PAT­TER­SON MILL D. JOPPATOWNE, 3-0: Becca Moen had 13 aces and the host Huskies (4-12) beat the Mariners (0-16) in a Class 1A North Sec­tion I semi­fi­nal.

Pat­ter­son Mill won, 25-8, 25-11, 25-9.

MATT HAZLETT/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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