Mount Hebron races past South Carroll, 18-8

May 14, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Mount Hebron's girls lacrosse program has accomplished so much in its first seven years that it's hard to believe there could be any new ground left.

But yesterday, the No. 5 Vikings notched another first by winning a Class 3A-4A playoff game.

The two-time defending Class 1A-2A champs spent their first season in Class 3A-4A and promptly knocked off defending regional champ South Carroll in the playoff opener.

The second-seeded Vikings (10-2) broke a 3-3 tie with nine straight goals to cruise past the Cavaliers, 18-8, in the West Region semifinal at Mount Hebron.

The Vikings will meet top-seeded Centennial, an 18-11 winner over Howard in the other semifinal, Tuesday for the regional title.

Yesterday, the Vikings started slowly and the Cavaliers (8-6) took advantage. Tracie DiDio found Pam Dempsey on transition for a quick lead.

Although Dani Vissers fed Cathy Nelson and Nicole McGowan for back-to-back goals, the Vikings could not pull away. DiDio quickly tied it at 2.

Nelson fed Vissers on the break for a 3-2 lead that didn't last long. Carli Benham assisted Erin Windsor at the other end to draw even again.

"We had no intensity at the beginning," said Vikings midfielder Erin McGinnis, whose team beat the Cavaliers, 16-10, early in the season.

"I'm not sure if it was overconfidence, but we underestimated them. Once we realized how much they had improved, we picked it up and got back into it."

McGowan scored on a free position with 9:41 left in the half to give the Vikings the lead for good. But it was the next goal that really broke the Cavaliers.

Third man Julie Kickham sneaked in behind the Cavaliers defense and Nelson hit her from behind the goal for a 5-3 lead 3:48 before halftime.

Mount Hebron scored seven more unanswered goals to pull ahead 12-3 with 16:18 left in the game.

South Carroll never recovered.

"When that defender [Kickham] snuck up behind them for that goal, the girls just deflated," said Cavaliers coach Stacy Stem. "I think at that point it was all over. Our confidence was just shot."

In their nine-goal run, the Vikings controlled the draws, striking quickly on transition. The Cavaliers got a little sloppy with their passes, catches and ground balls as the Vikings started to pull away.

"When we lost our confidence, we weren't aggressive. We weren't getting the ground balls and making accurate passes," said DiDio, who led the Cavaliers with two goals and an assist.

The Vikings, who won their fourth straight Howard County championship this season, outshot South Carroll, 38-26.

Cavaliers goalkeeper Erin Nauyalis had 14 saves. But she couldn't contend with the constant pressure and quick passing of the Vikings' offense.

Nelson led Mount Hebron with six goals and three assists while Vissers added three goals and four assists. McGowan had two of each and Jen Stocker and McGinnis had two goals apiece.

DiDio and Windsor scored two each for the Cavaliers, who had won seven of their last eight games to get to the regional playoffs.

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