Hammond rules 2A after falling short last year

Ebrahimnejad has goal, assist for Bears

Hammond 3 Loch Raven 1

Boys soccer

November 18, 2006|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

After breaking his collarbone earlier in the season, Hammond forward Mostafa Ebrahimnejad did not know if he would heal in time to help the Golden Bears, who fell one goal short last year, capture their first state title.

The injury mended well enough for Ebrahimnejad to return for this season's playoff run, and he was instrumental in leading Hammond to a 3-1 victory over Loch Raven in the Class 2A state championship game last night at UMBC. Ebrahimnejad scored the game's first goal, set up the second and created match-up problems all night for the Raiders, who were looking for the first state championship since 1977.

"The time frame for me to get back was at the end of season, but therapy went well," said Ebrahimnejad, who has committed to play soccer at Georgetown next fall. "Even when I was gone, the team did so well. Everyone stepped up to the occasion. Hammond had never won a state title, so I wanted to make history. It's like a fairy tale."

Ebrahimnejad opened the scoring when he collected a loose ball 29 minutes into the game and fired a low shot that found the low corner of the goal from about 25 yards out.

Hammond(13-3-2) added its second goal when Ebrahimnejad streaked down the near sideline and crossed the ball into the penalty area. The ball bounced off two Loch Raven defenders before being knocked in by Golden Bears midfielder Carl Cutler.

Hammond's defense played almost flawlessly until 62 minutes into the game, when it gave up its sixth goal of the season after Raiders defender Tim Fiedler's cross found Ben Davis on the far post, who then headed the ball past goalie David Griffith to cut the lead to 2-1.

The goal changed the momentum of the match, and the Raiders continued to push forward for the tying goal. But Hammond struck next when Enow Galen knocked in a cross from Wuroh Timbo from about 3 yards out for the final score of the game with four minutes left.

"The state title has been our goal all year," Hammond coach Jeff Reinoehl said. "We even made a sign that said, `No state title in 30 years. It's time to make history.' Our game is speed. We knock it down the line to try and get throw-ins and corners. We didn't change anything."

Loch Raven (15-5) was playing without starting sweeper Steve Ehatt because of a knee injury. However, Raiders coach Joe Fiedler said his team out-played Hammond through parts of the game, but Ebrahimnejad gave the Golden Bears the lift they needed to pull out the win.

"The difference in the game was that we couldn't control [Ebrahimnejad]," Fiedler said.

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