Mt. Hebron gains final for eighth straight time

South River fights back, but falls in semifinal, 9-6

May 22, 1999|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Since April 3, No. 1-ranked Mount Hebron had not faced a team able to stay within 10 goals of it -- until last night.

Ninth-ranked South River came within two goals several times in the second half, before the Vikings finished off a 9-6 victory in a Class 1A-2A state semifinal game last night at UMBC.

The Vikings (19-0), who have won two straight titles and six in eight years, advanced to the championship game for the eighth straight time.

They will meet the winner of this afternoon's other semifinal between No. 12 Towson and Edgewood at 8 p.m. Wednesday at UMBC.

Only two other times this season have the Vikings been held below 10 goals -- in late March against No. 3 Bryn Mawr and No. 4 Roland Park, games they won, 9-5 and 9-8, respectively.

In their last 14 games, the Vikings outscored opponents by an average of 20.4 goals.

"We haven't played any competition in a month and a half," said Vikings coach Chris Robinson. "It took us a while to adjust to that."

The Vikings' Katie Zabel scored the first goal just nine seconds into the game, but Mount Hebron turned the ball over their next five possessions.

Bridget Frande got the second goal off a feed from Polly Purcell with 17: 11 left in the half.

Despite a strong South River defensive effort led by Meredith Barry, Angie Beckett and Megan Murphy, the Vikings took a 5-1 halftime lead.

After the half, however, the momentum changed.

The Seahawks scored the second half's first two goals. Jackie Colacicco scored on a feed from Kellie Hogan and then Kelli Motely rolled the crease to pull within 5-3 with 22: 41 left.

"The first half, we played against their image, but the second half we were believers," said Seahawks coach Stephen Barry. "We knew we could drive to the goal and either get the goal or get the foul, and that worked."

After the Seahawks cut the lead to 5-3, Robinson called timeout, and the Vikings answered in less than a minute.

All-Metro midfielder Lauren Kickham sliced through the arc, dodging a double-team to her left and, a couple steps later, a defender to her right. She slipped a shot between Seahawks goalie Stephanie Schaeffer and the left post.

"We needed to step it up," said Kickham, "and there was a flag [on the play], so I figured I had nothing to lose."

Less than three minutes after Kickham's goal, Alyssa Trocher spotted Julie Scurachio open in front of the goal for a 7-3 lead with 18: 16 to go.

The Seahawks (13-4) cut the lead to 7-5 on back-to-back goals from Colacicco in the next three minutes, only to see Mount Hebron answer with a free-position goal by Kickham and another goal by Frande from Purcell for a 9-5 lead.

South River could not chip into that lead until Colacicco added her game-high fifth goal of the game with 1: 06 left.

Despite the loss, Barry was pleased with the Seahawks' performance in their second-straight final four appearance.

"We recognize they're the best team in the metro area, probably one of the best teams in the nation," said Barry.

"To play with them as we did tonight, we're real proud of that. We've got nothing to be embarrassed about."

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