The last time Centennial defeated Mount Hebron in boys lacrosse was 1998 and the Eagles went on to win a state championship. They're hoping for the same scenario this season because the Eagles ended Mount Hebron's 32-game Howard County league unbeaten streak last night at John Hopkins' Homewood Field, 12-9.
The Eagles (7-2, 5-0 Howard County) beat the Vikings (4-5, 4-1) on ground balls, shot more accurately, played better defense and dominated on the scoreboard. They took a 10-3 lead into the final quarter. Mount Hebron - winner of 13 county, 11 regional and five state titles - scored three goals in the last minute to make the game closer.
"Mount Hebron is always the team to beat, and everyone shoots for them," said Eagles coach Mike Siegert. "Defense has been our focus all week, and we stayed poised and shut them down. This is a big neighborhood rivalry. The kids all know each other, so it's a real big win for us."
Mount Hebron's offense held possession longer in the first half than did Centennial, but the Vikings' shots didn't connect. They outshot Centennial 43-28 overall.
"We had a lot of shots," said Vikings coach Tom Minard. "If we had gotten the ball in the net sooner, it might have been a different game. Centennial was flawless. ... They cleared well and they didn't foul."
Mike Down (three goals, three assists) and Sean Dougherty (three goals) led the Eagles.
Centennial led 8-1 early in the third quarter. Mount Hebron's top scorer, Delaware-bound Kurt Nordhoff, was held scoreless until the game's final 13 seconds by defenseman Jim Plank.
"I was watching for his spin move and tried to shut him down. We knew their attackmen were their best players," Plank said.
Mount Hebron's Mike Glancey scored four goals in the fourth.