Hebron still reigns: 6th straight crown

No. 1 Vikings go unbeaten as 18-7 win over Annapolis nets 10th title in 11 years

Class 3A-2A state girls lacrosse

High schools

May 23, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

In the end, what more could she say? After a season of praise and a mountain of superlatives, Mount Hebron girls lacrosse coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland simply ran out of words yesterday.

She tried to describe, one last time, just how good attackman Kristen Waagbo has been for the Vikings this season, but Kuhl-McClelland could only shake her head and smile. No matter: Waagbo's performance spoke loud and clear.

Led by Waagbo's six assists, Mount Hebron won its sixth consecutive state championship last night at UMBC, defeating Annapolis, 18-7, in the Class 3A-2A final. Waagbo, who also scored a goal and set a record for the most assists in a state championship game, helped the No. 1 Vikings earn their 10th title in the past 11 years.

"Just going into the year, I think we all thought, `We're not going to lose,' " said Waagbo, who led the Vikings (19-0) with 94 total points this year. "With all the leadership and talent we had, we just weren't going to let it happen. Next year, I think it's just going to be the same thing again. It's just the tradition we have here."

Mount Hebron's win wasn't a surprise - no team has come within three goals of the Vikings all year - but the way the offense operated was. Normally Mount Hebron's finisher, Waagbo spent most of the day getting double-teamed. So instead of forcing things, Waagbo simply fed her teammates crisp passes through Annapolis' tough zone defense.

As a result, Stephanie Scurachio scored five times, including once on a beautiful behind-the-back shot, while Karen Long and Chrissy Nicolaus added three goals each.

"We kind of figured they were going to come out and double Waagbo or Melissa [McCarthy]," Scurachio said. "That's cool, but it leaves a lot of people open. We've got such a deep team that it doesn't even matter."

Annapolis (14-5) wasn't simply showing up for Mount Hebron's coronation. The Panthers, after all, are the only team in the last decade to knock off the Vikings in the state playoffs, accomplishing that feat in 1996 under current coach Dave Gehrdes.

But yesterday, they could never get quite close enough to see if Mount Hebron would tighten up. Michelle DeChant scored twice in each half for the Panthers, and goalkeeper Cammie Jurkowsky made 14 saves, but six consecutive second-half goals by the Vikings put things out of reach with five minutes left to play.

In the end, the debate now shifts from the present to Mount Hebron's legacy. With four high school All-Americans (McCarthy, Scurachio, Waagbo and Liz Frande) and 10 college-bound seniors on its roster, does this team rank as one of - if not the - best Vikings teams ever?

"I think so," Scurachio said. "This year we had such awesome chemistry, from the goalie all the way to the attack. I don't want to say anything bad about any of the other great teams that we've had, but I think we deserve to be considered. We really connected this year and did something special."

Goals: MH-Scurachio 5, Ch. Nicolaus 3, Long 3, Dutch, Waagbo, Bosica, McCarthy, Laws, Slahor, Lance. A-DeChant 4, Cerone, Mays, Strum. Assists: MH-Waagbo 6, Scurachio 2, Bosica 2, Dutch, Taylor. A-DeChant, Phipps. Saves: MH-Nicolaus 2, Greenbaum 0. A-Jurkowsky 14. Half: MH, 8-4.

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