Vikings put exclamation point on season

Unbeaten Mt. Hebron rolls to third straight title, crushes Towson, 16-4

Girls 1A-2A lacrosse

May 27, 1999|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Mount Hebron ended a decade of dominance last night with a 16-4 victory over 11th-ranked Towson in the Class 1A-2A state championship at UMBC.

The Vikings (20-0) are the only team -- boys or girls -- to reach the state semifinals every year in the 1990s. Mount Hebron lost in the semifinals in 1990 and 1991, but has been in the championship game ever since. The Vikings have won three consecutive state titles, and seven in the last eight years.

"We played a great game," said fourth-year Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson. "We came out fired up. The players didn't want to leave anything out on the field tonight that they would regret, being that we were 19-0. They wanted to finish the season perfect and this is a great way to end the season and a great way to end the decade."

The Vikings, who got four goals each from juniors Lauren Kickham and Annie Collins, three from senior Alyssa Trocher and two each from junior Polly Purcell and freshman Stephanie Scurachio, have had three undefeated seasons. They were 18-0 and The Sun's top-ranked team in 1992 and 1993.

The victory completed a sweep last night for Mount Hebron. The boys team defeated Towson to win the Class 1A-2A state title. It is the third time in the 10-year history of the tournament that the same school has won the boys and girls titles in the same year.

P. J. Kesmodel began the Vikings girls program in 1988 and coached through the 1995 season. Robinson, an assistant under Kesmodel, gave the Mount Hebron guidance counselor his deserved credit.

"It's just a tremendous accomplishment to P. J., who started this whole thing and the kids in the early 90s who started this tradition," said Robinson. "The kids in the later 90s have kept up that tradition, and I think this year's team has pushed it as far as it's ever been. You look back on our stats in the 90s as far as the amount of titles we've won and it's just been phenomenal. I think it's unprecedented."

Mount Hebron, winners of 31 straight, took the lead for good 10 seconds into the game. Collins controlled the draw, sped by defenders and scored unassisted.

The Vikings, who also got a goal from Katie Zabel, scored on nine of 22 shots in the first half. Collins had three goals and Kickham and Trocher two each to lead Mount Hebron to a 9-2 lead.

Towson (14-5) took only two shots in the first half -- the first with 9: 06 left -- and scored on both of them.

Mount Hebron, which beat Towson, 9-7 in last year's title game, dominated every phase of the game, especially speed.

"I thought we had the speed advantage in the midfield," Robinson said. "We wanted to exploit that fact and get as much transition as possible and really push the ball and it worked."

The Vikings, who have won 11 of 12 Howard County titles, played a stronger second half.

Said Collins: "In the first half we were forcing it. We settled down a lot more in the second have and were crisp with our passes."

A few games ago, Robinson said his own team was the hardest game left on the Vikings' schedule. He was right.

"We almost stumbled against South River [in a 9-6 state semifinal win], but beyond that we've really played well and tonight I thought we brought out one of our better performances. For these seniors its a great way to end."

Said Kickham: "We've tried to continue the tradition at Hebron. It's been a great program. We've had great coaches and players, and its hard to fill the shoes but I think we did this season and we look forward to next season."

Pub Date: 5/27/99

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