Mount Hebron's lacrosse team is like the thoroughbred that prefers to break slowly from the gate and finish with a rush.
The ninth-ranked visiting Vikings fell behind 4-0 against No. 12 Mount St. Joe yesterday, but dominated the second half to triumph, 5-4.
"We have to stop this habit of slow starts," Vikings coach Jeff Doolan said.
Bryan Warner's second goal came off a crossing pass by Kyle Campbell with 1: 07 left to play, and it proved to be the game-winner.
"I cut around the backside and my guy slid too early, so I was wide-open," Warner said.
That goal was important, but Mount Hebron players felt that Mike Huppmann's goal with 19 seconds left in the first half was just as important.
"I think that Huppmann's first goal turned the game around," Campbell said.
Mount St. Joe coach Steve Szlasa agreed. "The one they got before the half was the big one, because it let them know they were still in the game. They are No. 9 and deservedly so, but we're not far away. We scheduled ourselves into this loss with eight games in 10 days. We died in the second half."
Huppmann, who scored twice, agreed with Szlasa about the fatigue. "We had fresher legs at the end and that carried us."
Mount St. Joe (8-5) built its 4-0 lead by doing a good job of switching defenses and double-teaming the ball.
"We were trying to beat their double-team with our first pass, but we changed that at halftime and then were more patient," Doolan said. "We also started matching up better when they inverted their midfielders, so they weren't getting wide-open.
Mount Hebron (3-1) also changed goalkeepers for the second half. Regular goalkeeper, 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior Pat McClammer, didn't start because he missed a week of practice while making college visits. He was awesome in the second half, however, getting six saves. One chestpad-popping save against Tom Kenney, who shot from five feet, was nearly miraculous with 2: 25 left in the third period.
"Pat came up huge in goal," Doolan said. "But Shawn Baird, who started in goal, also played well. They were getting shots from five feet out on him, so the goals were not all his fault."
Doolan also praised Huppmann for his play between the lines. And James Thomas scored a goal and had an assist. Mount Hebron took 22 of its 35 shots in the second half. The Gaels shot 21 times for the game.
Mount St. Joe had to play the final 49 seconds a man down after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Adam Santry during a timeout. Mount Hebron tried to run out the clock, but turned it over with 17 seconds left.
"This was a big win because it shows we have heart, and it is nice to beat an MSA team because they're supposed to beat all the public schools they play. This will carry us into the county," Huppmann said.
The Vikings face a county showdown with Glenelg (5-0) Thursday.
Pub Date: 4/06/97