River Hill tastes revenge, 3-1 Hawks top Mt. Hebron to capture region title and reverse earlier loss

Boys soccer

November 11, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill coach Bill Stara thought his team lacked sufficient intensity when it lost to Mount Hebron earlier this season.

"If you solve the intensity problem, then a lot of things open up,' Stara said.

Intensity was no problem for the Hawks last night at Howard High. And what opened up was a 3-1 Class 2A South Region championship victory -- River Hill's third straight regional title since the school opened. It's the eighth straight season a Stara-coached team has won a regional title.

The No. 4-ranked Hawks (17-1) thereby denied No. 3 Mount Hebron (14-2-1) its first regional title and put a sour ending on the Vikings' best season that included their first Howard County title and best record.

In avenging an earlier 2-1 loss that cost River Hill its No. 1 ranking, the Hawks once again asserted their superiority in a county noted for its quality soccer.

"We had something to prove," said Justin Gotis, who scored the winning goal. "We knew this was our main game, the one we were looking forward to, and we were mentally ready -- 102 percent more than last time."

The start of the game looked like deja vu for River Hill, which gave up an early goal in the loss to Mount Hebron and did so again yesterday.

Mount Hebron's Pete Lindahl scored on a header in the second minute. David Lechtrecker's corner kick flicked off Jung Chun's head perfectly to an unguarded Lindahl at the 6-yard line.

River Hill didn't rattle. "I knew we could come back," said Adom Crew. River Hill's under-17 national team player scored two goals yesterday, raising his season scoring totals to 15 goals and 13 assists.

"The difference tonight is that they couldn't stop Crew," Stara said. "He and Randal Brown were a one- and two-man wrecking crew up top."

Crew tied the score at 1-1 in the 16th minute when he volleyed in a deflection. The play began with Aaron McKinley's corner kick. Brown's header bounced off a defender to Crew, who found a clear opening.

River Hill's second goal in the 27th minute was also off a dead ball situation. Todd Tedrow headed a long throw-in by Crew and it deflected off a defender to Gotis, whose left-footed volley hit the crossbar and ricocheted off the head of a Vikings defender into the goal. It was Gotis' fourth goal.

Mount Hebron's Christian Chacon made a bid to tie it up on a breakaway with 7: 30 left in the half, but River Hill goalkeeper Mike Dibella raced out and made a sliding kick save.

"I knew this was a much bigger game for us, and that I had to come up big today," said Dibella, who plays on the same Columbia United club team with Chacon.

In the second half, Mount Hebron missed three excellent chances to tie the game, as the Vikings exerted tremendous effort offensively.

"We had more good chances than they did," Lindahl said. "The ball just didn't bounce our way."

Crew put the game out of reach with 7: 06 to play on a quick counterattack. Crew beat Vikings goalkeeper Greg Peters to a through ball from Brett Endler, and his kick found the inside of the far post defying a frantic effort at a kick-out by a Vikings defender.

Pub Date: 11/11/98

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