Nordhoff lifts Hebron over Hammond, 14-13

Vike scores game-winner, nets 3 others, 3 assists

High Schools

April 17, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Kurt Nordhoff of Mount Hebron is considered by most coaches to be the best lacrosse player in the county.

Against Hammond yesterday, he proved those coaches right by scoring the game-winning goal during a 14-13 contest in which Hammond earned itself lots of respect.

"Coach [Tom Minard] told us Hammond was really good and they only lost to Centennial by one goal, so we thought this was an important game," Nordhoff said. "They [Golden Bears] proved themselves to be a legitimate team. We had hoped to send a message to Centennial by blowing them [Bears] out."

Mount Hebron (4-4, 4-0 league) faces Centennial Friday night at 7:30 at Johns Hopkins in a game that should decide the county championship.

Nordhoff said that record-breaking 90-degree heat was an important factor in yesterday's game at Mount Hebron. "It was extremely hot, and I'm grateful we wore white instead of black. We had nothing left at halftime."

Hammond hurt itself late in the game by misfiring on two clear attempts, and by drawing a crucial slashing penalty with 40 seconds left.

A bungled clear allowed Mount Hebron goalkeeper Will Sepich (12 saves) to come out of the net, get the loose ball and clear to Brendan Taylor, whose no-look pass found Nordhoff open above the crease for the game-winning shot.

Nordhoff finished with four goals and three assists, despite a fine defensive effort from Hammond's Jeff Hutcheson, who guarded Nordhoff. Two of Nordhoff's goals were extra-man.

"Clearing [poorly] is what cost us," Hutcheson said. "That and our players not following their cutters."

Hammond's Andy Keatts scored five goals, but was unhappy with his effort. "I should have had 15 goals if I could shoot. I hope we see them again in the playoffs."

Keatts hit the pipe three times early in the game when the Golden Bears (6-2, 1-2 league) fell behind 5-2, Mount Hebron's largest lead.

"The end of the game is what it's all about. You have to step it up a notch then," Vikings midfielder Mike Glancey said.

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