Mt. Hebron makes most of 1st chance

Vikings complete run, beat James Bennett, 1-0

Class 2A boys soccer

November 21, 1999|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Business as usual. Just another game.

That's the strategy first-year Mount Hebron coach Jeff Doolan chose to get his squad ready for the Class 2A state championship game yesterday at UMBC.

And in the end it worked.

David Lechtrecker (27 goals, eight assists), the Vikings' leading scorer, headed in the winning goal with 9: 45 left to play and No. 5-ranked Mount Hebron held on to defeat James M. Bennett, 1-0, to capture its first state title in its first state playoff appearance.

"We didn't talk about winning the state title this week in practice because I was afraid of getting them too fired up and having them come in here in awe," said first-year coach Doolan. "Hopefully this will finally get us noticed outside the county."

Mount Hebron (16-3) had lost to eventual state champion River Hill in the Class 2A region final the past two seasons.

At first, Doolan's strategy backfired as Bennett (18-2) produced three dangerous scoring opportunities in the first half, twice narrowly missing high and once hitting the post.

"We were flat the first 10 minutes and didn't play our game in the first half," said Doolan, who substituted sparingly, using 13 players. "At halftime we emphasized playing more high pressure and not giving them time to settle."

Most of the game was played in the midfield, where Mount Hebron had standout Matt White. "We won a lot more balls in the second half and that helped us out but they were a good team," White said.

"I just squeaked through," Lechtrecker said about his game-winner. "It's a great feeling."

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