Mt. Hebron tops Towson to reach state title game

Vikings shut down Alpern in 2-1 win in Class 3A

Carver lifts N. Carroll

Boys soccer

November 11, 2006|By Jim Higgins | Jim Higgins,Special to The Sun

WALDORF -- After upsetting River Hill's historic state tournament run in the first round of the Class 3A East regional, Mount Hebron took care of the class' other state champion last night as the Vikings beat Towson, 2-1, at North Point High School.

"I'm just happy to get out of here with a win," said Mount Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer, whose undefeated team (16-0-4) will make its first appearance in the state championship game since winning back-to-back state titles in 1999 and 2000. "We're not exactly blowing people out but we're winning and advancing and that's what it's all about."

Senior Andrew Napolitano got the scoring started nine minutes into the first half to give Mount Hebron a 1-0 lead at halftime.

"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and was able to put it in," Napolitano said. "We've been working really hard and I think our team really wants it right now. I think we're going to get it if we just keep playing the way we've been playing."

Towson (12-4-1) tried to turn things up offensively in the second half but still couldn't find the goal before Mount Hebron scored again. Senior Justin Martinelli scored on a Napolitano's crossing pass for a 2-0 lead.

Towson finally added a goal when junior Michael Balcer made a shot from about 35 yards out, just over the outstretched arms of senior goalie Brad Carper.

Part of the Vikings' success came by shutting out the Generals' Wils Alpern, who scored 22 of the team's 44 goals this year.

"We knew [Alpern] was a great player," Linsenmeyer said. "We talked about him quite a bit. [The defense] did a really good job of pressuring him, making sure he was always supported and we stayed balanced defensively."

North Carroll 4, Northern-Calvert 3 -- Down by a goal with 20 minutes left in the game, North Carroll senior Justin Carver scored two goals in less than 10 minutes, including one off a penalty kick, to help the Panthers advance to the 3A state championship game at North Point High School. "We've been a resilient team all year long. We've been down before and have come back," North Carroll coach Denny Snyder said. "Going down two goals, that's a test of character." Taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Andrew Hamilton with 27:29 left in the first half, the Panthers (14-2) saw their lead vanish in the first 20 minutes of the second half as juniors Jared Rize and Hunter Albaugh each scored a goal for the Patriots (12-5-1) to give Northern a 2-1 lead. North Carroll immediately went back on the offensive and scored the next three goals - two by Carver and one by senior Nick Riley - before the Patriots added one last goal on a penalty kick by senior Collin Leadbeter. "It was a heartbreaker, that's for sure," Northern coach John Rossi said. "We were up 2-1 with about 15 minutes left ... we were close." Carver's penalty kick, which came after senior Elliott Rosner was taken down by Dale Pritts with 6:48 left, gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead. "Justin Carver has been one of the tri-captains, one of the leaders all year long," Snyder said. "He stepped up."

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