Older, wiser Hebron slips into title game

Despite having off game, Vikings use Bosica's goal to defeat Northern-C

Class 3A field hockey

High Schools

November 06, 2001|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

A year ago, Mount Hebron probably would not have won yesterday's state semifinal field hockey game at Goucher College.

Another year of experience, however, toughened the No. 6 Vikings enough to withstand a determined opponent even on a day when the Vikings struggled with their own game.

Maria Bosica scored on a secondary surge after a first-half penalty corner and a stubborn Vikings defense made the goal stand for a 1-0 win over Northern of Calvert County in a Class 3A semifinal.

"We didn't really play our best game," said Bosica, "but we stuck with it. That's the difference between this year and last year. Last year, we would have let it go."

Bosica scored on a pass from Alicia Jewel with 8:35 left in the first half. After that, the Patriots dominated possession and continually pressed the Vikings' defense.

Only gutsy performances from defenders Emily Goldman, Emily Smith and Kelly Knuuti and goalie Melanie Langmead held off 10 Patriots corners and six shots -- all saved by Langmead -- through the final 39 minutes.

"Today, it just was desire. It was just digging it out," said Vikings coach Jeannette Ireland. "It wasn't going well. They knew it wasn't going well. There's nothing you can really say to them. You've just got to find a way and that's what we did. It wasn't real pretty, but we found a way."

For the third time in five years, the Vikings (14-4) advance to the title game. They will meet No. 7 Fallston for the Class 3A crown at 10 a.m. Saturday at Goucher's stadium.

The Vikings are looking for their first state championship while Alice Puckett's Fallston team is after its ninth title, having last won back-to-back Class 3A crowns in 1998 and 1999.

For Ireland, yesterday's game bodes well for the Vikings' potential on Saturday.

"The positive thing is we played well enough to win even when we weren't on," said Ireland.

Early on, the Vikings dominated possession with four penalty corners and out-shot Northern, 5-2, in the half.

Bosica's goal came on the fifth shot.

"I got a great cross from Alicia," said the junior forward. "Then it was a big jumble and I managed to slip it under some sticks and it crossed the line."

The Patriots (13-2-1) picked up their intensity after the goal and Langmead made two saves in the final six minutes of the half. With 40 seconds left, she made a sliding one-on-one save against Pam Greenwell, who had scored 29 goals this season.

In the second half, the Vikings played more defensively, striking out on attack only a few times and managing just one shot despite seven corners.

"In the second half, we were more defensive and maybe a little more sloppy," said Goldman, "but we were still in control. We held together and we really were a unified team."

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