Mount Hebron High School's lacrosse program made its final home dateof the season count Friday, as the Vikings boys and girls teams advanced to the Class 1A/2A semifinals with impressive quarterfinal playoff victories.
Hebron's fourth-seeded boys team jumped to a 4-0 lead over fifth-seeded Hammond, watched the Golden Bears rebound with six unanswered goals, then manhandled Hammond in the third period with a 7-0 run to pull away to a 13-8 victory.
The Vikings (10-3), seeking to win their first state championshipsince 1988, will play top-seeded, undefeated Towson of Baltimore County in Tuesday's 1A/2A semifinal. Game time is tentatively set for 3:15.
Hebron's third-seeded girls team had no problems with Baltimore County's Overlea High School in the first game of Friday's doubleheader. Hebron raced to a 5-0 lead in the first seven minutes, an 18-4 lead at halftime, and eventually saw 11 players score in a 30-10 routof sixth-seeded Overlea.
The victory puts the Hebron girls in Tuesday's 5 p.m. semifinal at Essex Community College against second-seeded Loch Raven of Baltimore County. The Vikings, who lost in the state finals in 1988 and 1989 and went undefeated in Howard County this spring for the third time in four seasons, are trying to win their first state title.
The Vikings (11-2) won their eighth consecutive game and looked ready for a serious run at the state title. Even after Hebron coach P. J. Kesmodel began clearing his bench shortly before halftime, the Vikings continued to overwhelm Overlea.
Hebron, playing mostly its second string in the second half, still outscored Overlea 12-6 following intermission.
"It gets embarrassing when it getsthat bad, but I'm not going to tell my second-stringers who have worked their butts off all year and have a chance to get into a playoff game not to score," said Kesmodel.
Suzanne DeHaan (four goals), Lori Pasquantonio (four goals, one assist) and Cathy Nelson (four goals, two assists) led the parade of Hebron scorers. Megan Drake scored three goals and had two assists. Andrea Cuzmanes, Christy Duke and Shannon McGinnis scored three goals apiece. Amy Fine and Tracy Tucker each had two goals and an assist. Debbie Stocker and Carrie Donahoe each scored a goal.
Christin Windish led Overlea with three goals, all in the second half. Michele Love and Fotince Dardamanis added two goals apiece.
Drake, DeHaan and Pasquantonio staked the Vikings to an early 5-0 lead, which Overlea began cutting into midway through the first half. Lisa Gielner scored on a free position goal with 11:46 left in the half to pull Overlea to within 7-4, and it appeared briefly Hebron might be in for a contest.
But the Vikings blew the gameopen by scoring 11 straight goals to take an 18-4 halftime lead.
The Vikings head into Tuesday's rematch with Loch Raven -- the Raiders knocked off Hebron in last year's state semifinals, 12-10 -- armed with an of fense featuring five players with at least 20 goals. DeHaan (55 goals) and Drake (33) are the team's leading scorers. And Drake, who missed two previous games with a thigh injury, returned Friday in fine form.
"I think our team is better (than Loch Raven) all-around. I know we're better offensively," said Kesmodel.
The Hebron boys, who finished second in the county and failed to win the league title for the first time in Coach Warren Michael's four-year tenure, turned back a determined Hammond team with a superb second-half effort.
The Vikings erased a 6-5 halftime deficit with seven unansweredgoals in the third period. Six players scored to give Hebron a commanding 12-6 lead with 50 seconds left in the quarter.
"I think the seniors took over today," said senior Hebron midfielder Mike McQuaid,who took over the Hebron offense with a game-high five goals and oneassist. "Basically, we're a better team, and today, we got a total team effort. I can't score if Dan Hagan doesn't win the faceoffs. If we put it all together, we can beat anybody."
The Vikings got production from everywhere. Attackman Jason Vettori scored three goals. Midfielder Bob Sites, who came back from a groin injury that has limited him for the past three weeks, scored twice. Chris Vissers scored a goal and had three assists. Jess Grim and Tom Huppman each scored a goal.
Defensively, the Vikings held the Bears (9-4) to just two goals over the final 23 minutes, 25 seconds and kept Hammond scoreless for over 13 minutes at one point. Goalie Chris Parandian made 16 savesfor Hebron. Backup goalie Andrew Becker had four saves in the fourthquarter.
Tommy Lea, Drew Farver and Damien Greene each scored twice for Hammond. Eric Brown had one goal. And Ricky Matthews, the Bears' dangerous, hard-shooting midfielder, had one goal and two assists.Hammond goalie Matt Garner made 14 saves.
Hebron started fast, asMcQuaid, Sites and Vettori produced a 4-0 lead with 3:25 left in thefirst period. Hammond broke the ice with a Lea goal 10 seconds later. The Bears ripped off six straight goals in the second period -- they outshot the Vikings, 13-3, in the quarter -- to take a 6-4 lead with 3:25 to go in the half.
Hebron pulled to within 6-5 on a McQuaidgoal with 3:12 left in the half. And in the first three minutes of the second half, Vettori and McQuaid scored to give the Vikings a 7-6 lead with 8:34 left in the period. The Vikings never trailed again.