Mt. Hebron carries on tradition and streak

Top-ranked Vikings open by winning own tourney, extending run to 52 in row

High Schools

Girls lacrosse

April 01, 2001|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The Mount Hebron boys and girls 2001 lacrosse program is 84 pages. In it, a story previewing the girls season talks about the "astronomical expectations placed on the Vikings."

So what else is new?

The Vikings have won 12 Howard County championships in 13 seasons and eight state titles in the past nine, including four in a row.

"There's internal pressure," said junior Melissa McCarthy, "to uphold the tradition. We don't want to let down our alumnae."

Note to alumnae: All looks well.

Top-ranked Mount Hebron, playing for the first time this season and starting only one senior, defeated 13th-ranked St. Mary's, 15-5, yesterday in the championship game of the Mount Hebron Tournament.

Sophomore Kristen Waagbo had five goals and three assists and junior Stephanie Scurachio added five goals as the Vikings won for the 52nd consecutive time.

The last team to beat Mount Hebron? St. Mary's on April 18, 1998, by a 13-7 score. Since then, the Vikings have outscored opponents 1,046 to 202.

The Vikings, who had their season opener against St. Stephen's/St. Agnes postponed by rain, started the four-team tournament with a 17-4 victory over Baldwinsville, N.Y.

In the final, Mount Hebron jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes before St. Mary's rallied with two straight goals. The Vikings then scored six straight and went into halftime with a 9-3 lead.

"Getting the first three goals was a nice confidence builder," said Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson. "But it was more important after they made their run that we were able to respond and get six goals in a row. That was the key part of the game."

Said St. Mary's junior Brooke Dieringer: "We started to fall apart."

St. Mary's coach Erika Bristow said her team "never gave up. I'm proud of that. But Mount Hebron was hungrier. They wanted it more."

Mount Hebron dominated the second half and tallied six straight before the Saints (5-1) scored twice in the final minutes.

"We played really well," Scurachio said. "We knew we had to play our hardest to beat St. Mary's, and we did."

Mount Hebron's last scrimmage was two weeks ago, and Robinson said his team has "made great improvement" since then. Robinson said the team is more patient on offense and stronger defensively.

"As a group, the defense [Liz Frande, Laura Carper, Renee Cipro, Amy Shilling] did a great job [against St. Mary's] cutting off passing lanes and forcing them into a lot of turnovers," Robinson said.

"This is a great way to start," Robinson added. "We played better then I anticipated."

St. Mary's defeated Cherry Creek, 13-7, in an opening-round game. Cherry Creek, which is located in the Denver suburb of Englewood and is the largest high school in Colorado with an enrollment of 3,650, had a 5-4 lead at halftime. Alessandra Salatti scored four of her five goals in the second half and Dieringer added three to rally the Saints.

In the consolation, Baldwinsville, located 15 minutes west of Syracuse, defeated Cherry Creek, 11-6.

Baldwinsville, which was the Class A (largest) New York state champion in 1999 and a finalist last season, was playing for the first time because its field is under a foot of snow. Cherry Creek, which has won two state titles in the past four seasons, arrived here Wednesday and lost to Notre Dame Prep, 14-9, on Thursday and Friday beat Garrison Forest, 8-6.

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