Taken to OT, Mt. Hebron defeats Hammond, 3-2

No. 7 Vikings extend unbeaten streak to 25 on Elliott's game-winner

Boys soccer

October 03, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Jimmy Elliott was sure his undefeated, No. 7-ranked Mount Hebron boys soccer team would win in overtime against Hammond yesterday.

Why was he so certain?

"Because we lost the overtime coin toss, and we've lost every coin toss so far this season," he said.

Sure enough, in the second minute of a 10-minute sudden-death period, Elliott took a short pass from Tim Han at the 25-yard line near the right sideline. He then drilled a perfect shot into the upper corner of the goal at the far post for a 3-2 Vikings victory that extended their unbeaten streak to 25 games (24-0-1).

"How could he possibly make that shot?" said Hammond coach Trevin London. "No goalkeeper could have stopped it. We play with hard luck. That's the story of our season."

The shot dramatically ended a physical game that featured wild play in the final seven minutes of regulation.

During that time, the Bears Kwaku Boateng twice missed scoring chances from close range, Mount Hebron keeper Chris Nemeh was ejected for dissent and cursing and, in the final minute, Hammond's Gordon Murray blasted a shot off the crossbar.

"We were kind of scared at the end," Elliott said. He thought Hammond at times looked like the better team, despite the Bears' unimpressive record (2-4, 1-3 league).

"They have explosive speed. I didn't expect them to be that fast," Elliott said. "And on 50-50 balls, they went harder than us."

Bad luck haunted Hammond even before the game, because starting goalkeeper Nick Hall injured his right thigh in practice Monday and could not play.

But the Bears scored first in the 19th minute when Nemeh was too slow coming off his line, allowing Boateng to head a ball into the goal from the 10-yard line.

The Vikings (7-0, 3-0 league) retaliated in the 26th minute on a header by Brian Swiech off a cross from Mike Glancey. Glancey failed to score a goal for the first time this season.

Mount Hebron went ahead 2-1 on a put-back by Jimmy Zabel at the far post after a shot by Aaron Heath. The ball glanced off goalkeeper Kyle Webber's left hand and the post in the 33rd minute.

Boateng tied it 2-2 in the 65th minute by outracing three defenders and beating the keeper.

"It was another gritty win," said Vikings coach Mike Linsenmeyer. "They outworked us, we weren't playing to our feet and we were too flat in the back."

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