No. 4 Mount He­bron falls just short on 2nd-half Ur­bana goal

Baltimore Sun - - MLB & ORIOLES - By Brent Kennedy

In the mid­dle of the sec­ond half of a score­less Class 3A state cham­pi­onship game against No. 4 Mount He­bron on Thurs­day night, Ur­bana se­nior Kyle McQuillen spot­ted a loose ball a few feet away from him and knew ex­actly what to do.

“Right as it was up in the air, I was like, ‘I’m not go­ing to lose this ball.’ So I kind of did what­ever I had to do to get it back,” McQuillen said. When he did, “the first thing I thought of was to just hit it low and hard across the [6-yard box] like Coach al­ways tells us.”

McQuillen’s cross de­flected off a Mount He­bron de­fender on the near post and into the net with 19:25 left in reg­u­la­tion, giv­ing Ur­bana a 1-0 vic­tory at Loyola Mary­land’s Ridley Ath­letic Com­plex.

The cham­pi­onship is the first for the Hawks from Fred­er­ick County since 2013 and spoiled the Vik­ings’ bid for their first state ti­tle since 2006.

Mount He­bron (16-2), which was out­shot 8-5, had con­trolled the dan­ger­ous of­fen­sive op­por­tu­ni­ties Ur­bana (19-1) had, but the Hawks ended up get­ting the ball in a prime po­si­tion when it mat­tered most and it bounced their way.

“That’s just the breaks in soccer and any­body who watches or plays soccer knows some­times that’s just what hap- pens,” Vik­ings coach Mike Lin­sen­meyer said. “But to [Ur­bana’s] credit, they had to get be­hind our back line and whip a ball in. And when that hap­pens, good things hap­pen. I thought our team played very hard and it was pretty evenly matched.”

Nei­ther team man­aged much of­fense early in the game. In fact, it took more than 15 min­utes for ei­ther team to at­tempt a shot.

“I def­i­nitely think there were some nerves to start the game, but it was the hype sur­round­ing the game. I mean, you are play­ing in a state fi­nal and a lot of peo­ple haven’t been there,” Ur­bana se­nior Trent Tarn­strom said. “For the first 10, 15 or 20 min­utes, it was a lot of feel­ing each other out and I didn’t re­ally feel like ei­ther team had a good hold on pos­ses­sion or scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Both teams be­gan set­tling in as the first half wore on. Mount He­bron got its first shot on goal with roughly 15 min­utes left be­fore half­time — a header eas­ily stopped by Ur­bana goalie Ri­ley Barry (two saves).

With just more than five min­utes left be­fore half­time, Ur­bana an­swered with its best chance of the game un­til then. On a cross from Ken­neth Mo­rales on the right wing, the ball found Do­minick Acierno for a one-touch shot that hit the right post.

Ur­bana kept shut­ting down the Vik­ings’ set pieces, while Mount He­bron was hold­ing the Hawks’ high-pow­ered of­fense — which scored two or more goals in 17 of Mount He­bron’s Johnny Lin­sen­meyer, left, is con­soled by team­mate Vince Broc­col­ino af­ter the Vik­ings lost the state Class 3A cham­pi­onship game to Ur­bana, 1-0. 20 games this sea­son — in check.

“Re­ally the theme the whole year has been set plays for us and I think set plays was go­ing to be the deter­min­ing fac­tor for us win or lose,” said Mount He­bron goalie Torey Jones, who fin­ished with five saves. “We had plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties off of throws, cor­ners and free kicks and to their credit, they de­fended them very well. And I thought we de­fended them very well as well. I think we de­fended hard.”

Ul­ti­mately, the Hawks stayed with their pos­ses­sion- ori­ented style and be­gan putting more pres­sure on Mount He­bron’s back line to make plays.

“These guys did a fan­tas­tic job, espe­cially as the game wore on, of mak­ing sure that when we did have pos­ses­sion, that pos­ses­sion ended with some type of goalscor­ing op­por­tu­nity with us in the right po­si­tions,” Ur­bana coach Scott Schart­ner said.

In the end, be­ing in the right po­si­tion went a long way.

On the de­cid­ing score, Mount He­bron’s Johnny Lin­sen­meyer had thwarted the at­tack by knock­ing the ball away from McQuillen off a free kick by Mike Maier. But the ball wasn’t cleared and McQuillen stayed with the play to even­tu­ally send it into the box. The ball glanced off Lin­sen­meyer’s foot and into the net.

While dis­ap­pointed, Mount He­bron’s play­ers did their best to keep things in per­spec­tive.

“We couldn’t have got­ten here with­out ev­ery sin­gle per­son that was on the team. Every­body, whether they got a lot of play­ing time or not, had an im­pact on this team,” Jones said. “It’s a great group of guys and ev­ery sin­gle per­son has some­thing to re­mem­ber the rest of their lives.”

JEN RYNDA/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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