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