Mt. Hebron takes 8th title in row

Vikings crush Catonsville, 21-7, for 60th straight win, 12th state crown overall

High Schools

May 28, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Brooke Kuhl-McClelland, No. 2-ranked Mount Hebron crushed nearly everything in sight yesterday during the Class 3A-2A state final in girls lacrosse at UMBC.

Whether it was screaming cicadas, four state records, Catonsville's talented team or nay-sayers who thought the young Vikings would be unable to continue the school's dominance in Maryland girls lacrosse, all got swatted down.

With a 21-7 victory, the Vikings (18-0) stretched their winning streak to 60 games while setting four Maryland records:

Most goals in a 3A-2A state title game (21), most goals combined in a state semifinal and final (44), most state championships (12) and most consecutive titles (eight).

Mount Hebron, which scored twice in the game's first 27 seconds, has a 275-20-1 record over the past 16 seasons and is the only team to reach the state semifinals in all 14 years of the tournament's history.

The Vikings haven't lost to a Baltimore-area team since April 1998 or to a public school team since May 1996. They haven't lost to a private school team in the past 16 meetings.

"I firmly believe we are the best team in the state right now," said Vikings coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland. "This was a rebuilding year after losing 12 players, but we did everything we could to earn respect, beating teams from three different counties, a private school and allowing only 12 goals all season to Howard County teams, which is a school record."

Sophomore midfielder Megan Bosica, in her first season as a starter, led the Vikings with five goals and two assists, and junior Meg Taylor also scored five times against Catonsville.

"It feels great to know you contributed to keeping the Mount Hebron tradition going," said Bosica. "Everyone wanted to bring us down this year, but we stuck with it."

Senior attack Kristen Slahor, who played in her fourth state championship game and is headed to Ohio State, entered the game with 58 goals and 56 assists; she scored twice and had four assists.

"This was the most exciting championship of them all, because everyone doubted us and because we worked so hard all season," said Slahor. "It was also great, because I got to play a leadership role this season."

Richmond-bound attack Claire Cunniff, Catonsville's leading scorer who entered the game with 51 goals, was held to two - in the last two minutes against Mount Hebron's substitutes.

"It is intimidating to play them," said Cunniff, one of three Comets headed to Division I programs. "They pursue all over, double-team the ball, and close off your transition. We normally like to control the offense. This is bittersweet. We would like to have won."

Jen Bach scored three goals for No. 15 Catonsville (15-4), which made it to the state finals three of the past four years and five times overall.

The Comets' only title came in 1996.

"Nobody pressures like Mount Hebron does," said Catonsville coach Jill Altshuler. "No one has guns all over the field and goes so hard the whole game. We had a lot of experience and talent with three four-year kids and four three-year kids."

Goals: MH-M. Taylor 5, Bosica 5, Slahor 2, M.C. Taylor, Rekart, Krause, Lucido, Melvin, Wunk, Eulitt, Cates, Lance; C-Bach 3, Cuniff 2, Sweeney, Dennis. Assists: MH-Slahor 4, Bosica 2, M.C. Taylor, Lance, Giles, Mengel. Saves: MH-Brown; C-Castle 15. Half: MH, 13-3.

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