Mount Hebron defeated top-seeded and previously undefeated Towson, 7-4, yesterday at Calvert Hall, and advanced to Saturday's state Class1A/2A lacrosse finals.
The Vikings will play the winner of yesterday's Loch Raven-North Harford game.
Mount Hebron's last state title was in 1988. North Harford eliminated the Vikings in the semifinals last year.
The Vikings (11-3) got a hat trick from senior attackman Chris Vissers and two goals apiece from Mike McQuaid and Bob Sites.
But it was defense that turnedthe tide for Mount Hebron.
"Defense was the key for us," Vikings Coach Warren Michael said. "Especially our close defense was exceptional."
Those three close defenders were Nathan Kealey, Harry Long and Frank Rabena.
The Towson Generals (11-1) had an overall better passing team than Mount Hebron, but the Vikings were able to isolate their best players one-on-one and beat the Generals on mismatches.
"We feared Towson's transition game because they do have more sticksthan we do," Michael said. "We wanted a six-on-six game."
Even though Mount Hebron was only seeded fourth, it got on the scoreboard first when McQuaid got an assist from Bob Sites with 3 minutes, 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
Sites made it 2-0 with 57 seconds left in the first quarter with help from Vettori, who had three assists.
Towson's Barry Heddings made it 2-1 on a goal with eight seconds in the quarter.
"We didn't play well in the first quarter," Michael said. "Their goalie slammed the door."
Towson scored the firsttwo goals of the second period to lead, 3-2, but Mount Hebron rallied to a 4-3 halftime lead on a goal by Vissers with 6:29 left and one by Sites with 2:13 left in the half .
Calvert Hall tied it, 4-4, at 7:56 of the third period, before Mount Hebron's Vissers scored the game-winning goal with 4:14 left in that period.
"Vissers played asmart game," Michael said. "They gave him the seam and he dropped itin. We noticed their goalie liked to drop to his knee, so we asked him (Vissers) to shoot it up."
McQuaid made it 6-4 with 2:20 left in the third period on an 18-yard shot down the middle.
The Vikingsran down the clock to start the fourth quarter, burning about two minutes while Towson grew frustrated.
Generals goalie Lance Buckley was hit with a 30-second technical foul for holding, as he blasted McQuaid to the ground and opened a 1-inch cut on McQuaid's left eyelid.
Vissers scored the last goal of the game with 5:24 to play.
The Generals had a man-down situation with three minutes to play, but missed three shots. And Vikings goalie Chris Parandian made a good save to keep Towson off the scoreboard.
Parandian made 12 saves, eight in the second half.
"Mount Hebron was excellent," Generals CoachRandy Dase said. "We hadn't faced anyone of their caliber in two years.