Another day, another blowout.
That has been the story each time top-ranked Mount Hebron has faced a county opponent over the past two seasons. The Vikings followed that plot faithfully yesterday, as eight players scored in a 23-3 rout over visiting Oakland Mills that clinched Hebron's third straight county girls lacrosse title and extended its winning streak to 31.
After ending the regular season today against Wilde Lake, the Vikings (13-0, 6-0) will turn their attention to the defense of their 1A/2A state championship.
Judging by its first 13 games, Hebron appears well-tuned for its state title run.
The Vikings have averaged 17.7 goals and surrendered 5.4. They have outscored their six county opponents 124-23.
"We all improved our individual skills so much during the off-season that we've become stronger together. We don't have any weak links," said attack wing Amy Fine, who scored five goals and added two assists.
"We practice for 2 1/2 to three hours a day, and people are always staying after practice shooting on goal. We love the game."
Not even a disciplinary decision by coach P. J. Kesmodel could slow the Vikings yesterday. Kesmodel decided to bench several starters temporarily -- including leading scorers Cathy Nelson and Lori Pasquantonio -- after they arrived late for a pre-game meeting.
Hebron didn't miss a beat. Fine scored three goals in the first eight minutes, when the Vikings took a 6-0 lead. Nelson and Pasquantonio then entered the game, and Hebron poured on the offensive firepower to take an 18-2 halftime lead.
In the first half, the Vikings won 17 of 21 draws, outshot Oakland Mills 25-3 and allowed the Scorpions (6-4, 3-2) to cross midfield five times.
Despite missing those opening minutes, Pasquantonio (five goals, two assists) and Nelson (four goals, two assists) had fine games. Danielle Vissers, Erin McGinnis, Nicole McGowan and Stacia Hepburn had two goals apiece. Tierney Clark also scored a goal.
Jessica Kratzer scored two goals for Oakland Mills. Stacey Lillis had one goal. Scorpions goalie Debbie Jackson recorded 13 saves.
Yesterday marked the fourth time the Vikings have broken the 20-goal mark this spring, all against the county. Hebron's closest margin of victory in league play has been 11 goals.
"It's hard to play well when you're that much better than somebody. We've played a lot worse this year in games like this, but today we played well," said Kesmodel, who again went deep into his bench for much of the second half.
"The bad thing is we haven't had enough contests to get us ready for the playoffs. I'm afraid that's going to hurt us."