River Hill captures region title

Boys Soccer

High School


Eager to finally get past rival River Hill in the playoffs, Mount Hebron came out and furiously dictated play early in the Class 3A East region final.

But the No. 4 Hawks withstood that early pressure, stepped up their defense and took advantage of a clutch free kick by co-captain Matt Stara, edging the visiting No. 7 Vikings, 1-0, last night in Clarksville.

Third-seeded River Hill (13-1-1) advances to the state semifinals seeking its fourth straight state title with the win, its fourth in as many years over No. 4 seed Mount Hebron (12-4-1) in the regional playoffs.

"This is incredible," Stara said. "We knew they were ready. We fought hard, and it showed in the end."

The Vikings surprised the Hawks with how aggressively they played early on, Stara said, but the game remained scoreless until stoppage time in the first half.

Then Stara lined up a free kick from about 35 yards away. Noticing that the Mount Hebron wall was heavy to one side, the senior defender drilled the ball high and into the top of the net to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

"Everything went where it was supposed to go," Stara said. "It was just relief."

Mount Hebron had several chances to tie the game in the second half, but the Vikings missed a few free kicks, failed to execute on corner kicks and were robbed a couple of times by River Hill goalie Matt Moss.

Officials disallowed a goal in the 63rd minute when a Mount Hebron player crashed into Moss after he caught a cross attempt. When Moss leapt to snare a deep cross by Vikings sweeper Zachary Barnett in the final seconds, the Hawks had their second 1-0 victory over the Vikings this season.

Towson 1, Franklin 0 -- Sophomore forward Graham Franke scored the game-winner in the 69th minute as the Generals (9-4-1) captured their third Class 3A North region title in four years. Franke went up with Franklin goalie Ian Flanders along the far post and headed home a cross that was sent in by junior midfielder Phil Bickel. It was Franke's second goal of the season. "The whole game was back and forth and both teams had chances. I just knew it was coming down to the wire, and I had to stick that one in," Franke said. The Indians' (9-5) best opportunity came moments before Franke's goal when Ryan Schuman's volley off a cross from David Borcik was blocked in front by a defender. Towson, which captured a state title in 2003, will take on the Westlake-Huntington winner in the state semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday at South River. Despite the loss, Franklin coach Ian Reid was pleased with his team's effort yesterday along with the season. With a roster of six juniors, eight sophomores and just two seniors, he sees plenty of positives to build on.

No. 9 Broadneck 2, No. 10 Arundel 1 -- Broadneck beat Arundel in the Class 4A East region final last night and received a berth in the 4A state semifinals this weekend. "Our defense has gotten us to this point," said Sean Tettemer, coach of the No. 9 Bruins who have gone from a 5-9-1 team to a 14-2-1 region champion giving up just 11 goals along the way. Broadneck plays the Magruder/Watkins Mill winner of the 4A North at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Winston Churchill. Tettemer cited his center-midfielders, Brandon Rowe and Kevin Murray, defenseman Abe Hunter and goalie Evan Young (seven saves). "Abe marked Justin Kondos [the Wildcats' leading scorer who had 12 of his team's 52 goals this season] in all three games, and that goal Justin scored tonight with about a minute and half left was the first point he has had against us," Tettemer said. The Bruins beat the No. 10 Wildcats (13-3-2) in the regular season, 2-1, and shared the Anne Arundel County championship with them after a 0-0 tie. Murray gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead from 20 yards out with 1:33 left in the first half, and sophomore Dylan Reddersen scored the second with just over four minutes left.

Hammond 2, No. 13 Atholton 1 -- The Golden Bears (10-2-5) upset the visiting Raiders (11-3-1) by winning the Class 2A South region title for only the third time in school history. Junior Mustafa Ebrahimnejad and James Headley scored goals for the Golden Bears.

No. 6 Liberty 3, Rockville 0 -- Senior forward Ryan Liberatore scored off a pass from senior Billy Lee midway through the first half, propelling the Lions (13-0-3) past the Rams (12-5) and into the state semifinals Friday against the Queen Anne's Lions.

Sun reporters Glenn Graham and Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

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