No. 1 River Hill finishes off Howard championship

No. 7 Mount Hebron if overwhelmed, 4-1

Boys soccer

High Schools

October 19, 2001|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

River Hill left little doubt.

The top-ranked Hawks secured the Howard County league championship with an impressive 4-1 victory over visiting and No. 7 Mount Hebron yesterday afternoon. On the way to another county title, the Clarksville school knocked off No. 9 Centennial, No. 15 Glenelg and No. 8 Oakland Mills, which was No. 1 at the time.

"Lately, we haven't been coming out as hard," said River Hill midfielder Matt Boras. "This game, we came out pumped. This was technically the seniors' last home game, and we came out hard. We came in hard on every tackle."

The Hawks' senior corps of Boras, Ben Brasso, Franco Florio, Jason Finney, Spencer Hannas, Kristian Kompare, Jeff Marquart and Alec Summers helped spearhead a relentless pursuit by the Hawks (9-0-1, 8-0) of Mount Hebron. Seemingly running circles around the Vikings (9-3-1, 5-2-1), River Hill avenged a 4-0 loss from last year.

The Hawks enjoyed a 4-0 advantage before Jimmy Zabel headed a shot past Marquart late in regulation for Mount Hebron's only score. Coming off a 1-1 tie with Glenelg on Tuesday, the Vikings were never in contention yesterday.

"They really did outwork us," said Mount Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer. "They knocked the ball around, they got to the corners, and they just beat us to the ball all over the field."

River Hill outshot the Vikings 7-3, while enjoying a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks. Boras put the Hawks up 1-0 early with a goal, then his corner kick was finished by Florio, who placed a header past Mount Hebron goalie Chris Nemeh (four saves).

Junior Brian Walter controlled and sent a 30-foot shot into the right corner in the early stages of the second half. Sophomore David Adams closed the River Hill scoring with a 20-footer to the left of Nemeh with Walter getting the assist.

"Every time, they played the ball the same place in the corner, and we didn't know what to do," said Nemeh, a sophomore. "We thought we were still in it down 2-0, but they came out even stronger and we were still flat."

River Hill will likely be the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A East region when the pairings for the state tournament are announced Monday. The Hawks are pleased with regaining the county title, but capturing another state championship is their main focus.

"You can win the county and if you lose your first game [in state playoffs], you're left sitting at home," said River Hill coach Bill Stara. "That's not why we play. We play to get ready for November."

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