Vikings win 11th straight state title

Mount Hebron comes back from 5-3 deficit

No. 1 Mount Hebron 7 No. 9 North Harford 6

Girls lacrosse Class 3A-2A

May 23, 2007|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun reporter

Mount Hebron's 11th straight state girls lacrosse title tasted particularly sweet because it came during a season of ups and downs - and in a game of ups and downs.

Last night, the No. 1 Vikings came from behind to beat No. 9 North Harford, 7-6, for the Class 3A-2A title at UMBC Stadium.

The victory, one of the closest the Vikings (19-1) have posted in a state final, put the finishing touch on a season during which their 103-game winning streak ended. After falling to West Genesee, a school from a Syracuse, N.Y., suburb, on April 14, the Vikings refused to let that loss define their season.

They won their next 13 games and took the Howard County, regional and state championships.

"The past four years, everyone's been in our faces, everyone's been waiting for us to make a mistake," senior Jackie Doherty said. "When we finally did, we came back even stronger and I think it showed what a quality team we are. Then, to come out here and face an awesome team and we were behind and we fought back, it just showed what we can do."

The Vikings' seniors will leave Mount Hebron with a 75-1 record over their four years. Few of their wins were as hard-fought as last night's.

The Hawks (17-2) proved they were up to the challenge, taking a 5-3 lead fueled by four of Corey Donohoe's five goals.

Donohoe said the Hawks had scouted the Vikings and were pretty sure how to attack their defense.

"We know their defense likes to double the ball," she said, "so we were going to take it down, spread out, work it around and wait for their double and quickly move the ball so we got an open shot."

That worked fine in the first half, but the Vikings didn't let the Hawks get the ball as much in the second half. They controlled the ground balls and the draws much of the half to keep attacking.

Hawks goalkeeper Lauren Scott kept her team in the game with 13 saves - 10 in the second half.

But the Vikings erased a 5-4 halftime deficit with the first three goals of the second half - two from Monica Zabel and one from Jessica Giles.

Donohoe brought the Hawks within 7-6 with a free-position goal with 3:09 left, but the Vikings won the draw and held the ball for more than two minutes.

Scott saved Jacqueline Giles' shot with 43 seconds left, and the Hawks had one more opportunity. Donohoe got the ball and tried to pass into the arc, but the pass was blocked and the Vikings recovered the ball.

"We realized this is it," Doherty said. "We had 25 minutes to throw it all out on the field, leave everything out there and we just did."

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