Pair of Mt. Hebron strokes nip hard-luck Long Reach Outplayed Vikings win shootout, 2-1, advance after scoreless battle

Field hockey

November 07, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Long Reach did everything it could yesterday to beat 10th-ranked Mount Hebron in the Class 2A South region championship game.

Still, it wasn't good enough.

"We outplayed them," said Long Reach coach Kelly Snyder. "Then it just came down to strokes. There must be a reason it's not our time."

After the regulatio 60 minutes and two 10-minute overtimes produced no goals, Mount Hebron defeated the visiting Lightning, 1-0, thanks to a 2-1 advantage in the penalty-stroke shootout.

"They deserved to win. They outplayed us," said Mount Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland, whose team will play Easton, a 2-1 overtime winner over Stephen Decatur, at 2: 45 p.m. Monday in the state semifinals at Goucher College.

"I was surprised we made it to strokes. I really didn't think we were going to survive," said Ireland, whose team was outshot 17-8 and took only one corner to seven for Long Reach. "They outplayed us. They out-hustled us. They were phenomenal."

Long Reach, in its third season, has never scored against the Vikings (12-5). But the Lightning (9-8), which lost to Mount Hebron, 1-0, in last year's region final, came close several times yesterday.

"We had some beautiful shots that were just slightly off," Snyder said.

In the shootout, each team selects five players to shoot from 7 yards.

Long Reach's first attempt was wide right. Katie Jeschke's shot bounced off one of Long Reach goalie Jay Lance's leg pads and into the goal for a 1-0 Mount Hebron lead.

The next two players missed. Long Reach's Theresa Heston scored past Mount Hebron goalie Katelyn Hoffman (12 saves) to tie it, but the next player, Polly Purcell, fired a low shot into the left corner for a 2-1 Vikings' lead.

NTC The next three players missed, giving Mount Hebron, a state finalist last year, another game to play.

Long Reach lost 4-0 in September to Mount Hebron in what Snyder called the "worst game I've ever seen us play in three years."

Since then, the Lightning had won six of seven, outscoring opponents 17-4. And yesterday, the team played with heart and determination.

"They were very good. They did everything we were supposed to do," Ireland said.

Long Reach's record has improved from 0-12-1 (1996) to 7-8-2 (1997) to this year's winning mark.

"I'm very proud of them," said Snyder, who will lose only four seniors.

Pub Date: 11/07/98

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