Howard comes together to defeat Mount Hebron

November 02, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Before the season began, Howard was touted as the only Howard County team with enough talent to upset defending county champion Centennial.

Instead, after winning their five nonleague games the Lions lost their first five league games, including a 1-0 contest to Centennial.

But last night in its opening game of the Class 3A East Region playoffs against Mount Hebron, a team that had trounced it, 6-3, during the regular season, Howard finally lived up to its promise by defeating the visiting Vikings, 3-0.

"Everything came together tonight," said Howard sweeper Mike Green. "The first time we played Mount Hebron we played defense as individuals and we only played one half."

Another big difference was that Green stayed back all night last night instead of trying to push up and score, and he provided the organizational ability the Lions needed.

Green, a junior, was excited about his first playoff game and anxious to get another shot at Centennial on Friday night should the Eagles defeat Poly today as expected.

"We'll have nothing to lose, because no one will be expecting us to win," he said.

Howard (7-5-1) scored its first goal against Mount Hebron in the 29th minute. A free kick by Peter Bachman bounced around in front of the goal and finally was booted in by Eric Howard. His kick went across the goal to the far post just beyond the reach of Vikings goal keeper Shane Ardo.

The Lions scored again in the 37th minute when Chris Dodson found an open net after a cross from Chris Folkemer.

Mount Hebron (8-5) had one excellent scoring chance in the 20th minute of the first half on a kick in close by Scott Baughman, but Howard goalkeeper Joel Sackett made a diving block and the ball rolled just beyond the far post.

Ardo (11 saves) kept Mount Hebron close with several outstanding saves in the second half.

Mount Hebron coach Kevin Good thought his team should have been given a penalty kick in the 65th minute when Baughman was knocked down in the box by Chris Berwind, but there was no call.

And the Lions finally sealed the victory in the 70th minute when Bachman took an indirect from Green and booted a left-footer past Ardo.

Although Howard outshot Mount Hebron 16-5, Good thought the game was close.

"We played well enough to win and had three breakaways in the second half, but finishing is such an inconsistent thing," he said. "They did close up the midfield on us tonight."

Howard is 2-0-1 in its past three games, and its attack is playing much better since sophomore Brian Baham, normally a fullback, started getting some playing time at that spot.

"After he scored on a diving header against Atholton things started happening for us offensively," Howard coach Dave Kelley said.

"Tonight he only played about 20 minutes up top because Eric Howard was working so hard for us I couldn't take him out.

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