Mt. Hebron returning to state field hockey championship game

Lauren Schaaf scored her first hat trick of the season as Mt. Hebron defeated Urbana, 4-1, to win its Class 3A state semifinal game Monday at Franklin High School.

The victory puts the Vikings in Saturday’s state championship game where they will face C. Milton Wright, a 3-0 winner over Huntingtown.

The state championship game will be played at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, at Washington College.

Urbana and Mt. Hebron brought identical 16-1 records and similar statistics into the semifinal, but Schaaf’s first goal, which came 48 seconds into the game, was a stunner.

The goal was set up by Monica Linn’s drive from outside the circle.

Coach Jeannette Ireland “made it very clear that it was my job to be on post and have my stick down,” Schaaf said. “It was practice and luck and being there.”

Urbana quickly answered when Courtney Mellon scored, but well before the midpoint of the half, Schaaf had a hat trick and Urbana was struggling to find its game.

“We’re used to playing on grass. Turf is a different game for us,” said Urbana senior Meg Stuart. “It was hard to adjust but I think we shut them down on the sidelines pretty well. The fast breaks killed us, though.”

The Vikings fast breaks were led by Tianna Wallpher and often finished by her teammates.

“Even though somebody has a five-yard lead on Tianna, she can beat them to the ball,” Ireland said. “She is one of the quickest players I’ve ever seen.”

Defender Shannon Kelliher and first-year goalkeeper Chachi Kelehan were two reasons why Urbana had trouble scoring.

Mt. Hebron’s last appearance in the state championship game was 2011 when the Vikings lost in double overtime.

Wallpher and Linn are the only holdovers from that 2011 squad. Schaaf and Molly Bishop both had sisters on the team.

“We’re excited about going back” to the state finals, Ireland said. “We always knew it was a possibility. One quality that this team has had, though, is that they have not looked ahead. They just take one game at a time.”

Now there is just one game left.

Mt. Hebron 4, Urbana 1

Goals: MH – Lauren Schaaf 3, Katie Anderson. U – Courtney Mellon.

Assists: MH – Tianna Wallpher 2,  Monica Linn 2.  U – Jennifer Shenk.

Saves: MH – Chachi Kelehan 4. U – Jess Wolf 0, Becca Godwin 3.

Halftime: Mt. Hebron, 3-1

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