Hebron tops Centennial in OT, 3-2 Litaker's second chance gives Vikings title chance

October 24, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Melissa Litaker got a second chance. And because she was able to take advantage of it, Mount Hebron still has a chance to earn its first Howard County championship.

Litaker, who whiffed on a crossing pass 6 feet from the Centennial goal late in regulation, scored with 4: 20 left in the overtime yesterday to give the visiting 15th-ranked Vikings a 3-2 victory over the No. 14 Eagles.

Mount Hebron (10-3 overall, 7-1 league) still needs help from defending county champion River Hill (10-3, 7-1) for a share of the title. The No. 12 Hawks travel to sixth-ranked Hammond (12-0-1, 8-0) Tuesday, and a win by River Hill and a Mount Hebron victory over Oakland Mills will create a three-way tie for first.

Hammond earned at least a share of the title yesterday with a 7-0 win against visiting Wilde Lake, and River Hill defeated Atholton, 1-0.

Centennial (8-5, 5-3) certainly has been a hard-luck loser this season. The Eagles lost 3-2 in overtime to Hammond on Oct. 9, and dropped a 3-2 double-overtime decision on Tuesday against River Hill.

"I don't think any team has dominated us," said Centennial coach Mike Senisi. "We had chances to win, but we didn't capitalize on them."

The Eagles had a 2-0 lead at halftime on goals by Jane Williams and Ashley Evans. But Mount Hebron played more aggressively in the second half, and created many more opportunities.

"In the first half we won the 50-50 balls," Senisi said, "and the DTC second half we didn't. We didn't come out with the same intensity in the second half."

Freshman Julie Napolitano headed in Katie Elliott's corner kick with 23 minutes left to put Mount Hebron on the board. Roughly 10 minutes later, Elliott scored off a throw-in by Napolitano to tie the game.

Litaker could have won the match for Mount Hebron in regulation, but she missed a beautiful cross from Elliott. "All I had to do was touch it, and I missed it completely," Litaker. "I felt so stupid."

In overtime, Elliott crossed the ball to Napolitano, who flipped it to Litaker. This time she didn't miss. "It made up for the first one. I didn't feel so stupid any more," Litaker said.

Elliott, who played a strong game, said the Vikings weren't down at halftime.

"We knew we could step it up," she said. "We outplayed them in the second half. Once we got into overtime, we knew we could win. We haven't lost in overtime yet [3-0]."

Mount Hebron coach Jonathan Davis was especially pleased with the play of sweeper Becca Ferrell, stopper Becky Purtell, midfielder Megan Moulding and goalie Kaitlin Porter.

Pub Date: 10/24/98

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