River Hill tops Mount Hebron, 2-1, closes in on Howard title

Behind Stara, No. 4 Hawks hand No. 3 Vikings 1st loss

High Schools

Boys soccer

October 20, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill's Matt Stara, who has a phenomenally long throw-in, twice stung Mount Hebron with it yesterday as the fourth-ranked Hawks defeated the No. 3 Vikings, 2-1, in Ellicott City.

The Hawks (9-1, 7-1), who have won four Howard County titles and four state titles since the school opened in 1996, took a big step toward winning their fifth county title. They have two remaining league games, against Howard and Glenelg.

Second-place Mount Hebron (10-1-1, 6-1-1) lost to River Hill for the sixth straight time.

"This was a real important game for us because they were undefeated, and we are looking for the home-field advantage in the playoffs," said Stara, who recorded his 12th assist and second goal - all off throw-ins. "We played with high intensity in the first half. We talked before the game that we wanted to win every 50-50 ball."

River Hill dominated the first half, highlighted by Stara's throw-in off the hands of Vikings goalkeeper Ryan Kreh for a goal in the third minute, followed nine minutes later by another goal off Stara's long throw. This time Theo Byrd kicked it in at the far post after heading the ball to the ground.

"They were shocked by the two quick goals," said Stara.

The Vikings recovered at halftime and came out with intensity in the second half, buoyed by moving midfielder Nick Shadoff to striker.

Shadoff, a transfer from McDonogh, scored in the 56th minute by heading in a Jordan Hoolachan cross. Hoolachan controlled a loose ball after a long throw was cleared off the goal line.

"That sparked us," said Shadoff.

Mount Hebron dominated the second half, but was unable to get the tying goal. Its best chance came with 13:30 to play when a Shadoff kick hit the near post hard. The ball caromed off the far post and rolled back toward the center of the goal, where River Hill goalkeeper Matt Moss picked it up.

Shadoff thought the ball crossed the goal line and should have been a goal. So did Mount Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer.

Moss disagreed: "It was about 6 inches from the line."

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