Just three days after suffering its first county loss of the year, Mt. Hebron got itself right back on track.
Getting goals from Johnny Linsenmeyer and Pat Palin, the Vikings went on the road Friday night and held off a spirited Long Reach team for a 2-1 victory.
“We had to win this game to keep ourselves from getting on a bad road,” said Palin, whose goal with 13:40 left in the second half ended up being the game winner. “Winning this one gets us right back where we are trying to go.”
Mt. Hebron (2-1, 4-1) had lost to Marriotts Ridge, 2-1, on Tuesday, but didn’t show any lingering effects of that defeat in the early going. The Vikings peppered the Lightning net with seven shots and generated four corner kicks, in the opening 10 minutes.
While the opening barrage didn't produce anything on the scoreboard, that pressure is what ultimately yielded the game’s first goal in the 28th minute. Mt. Hebron freshman Johnny Linsenmeyer corralled a ball near the top of the box and fired a hard shot off the goalie’s hands into the right side of the net.
That ended up as the only goal of the first half and the Vikings went into intermission ahead 1-0.
“For the chances we had, we really should have probably scored a few more … luckily we had a couple kids make a couple of great individual plays,” Mt. Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer said. “Long Reach, though, also deserves a lot of credit for their fight and keeping us from building a bigger lead.”
Long Reach had generated only two shots in the first 40 minutes, but began creating more chances almost immediately out of the break. There were no goals, but the Lightning had several minutes of possession in the attacking third.
“The first half it was a matter of getting our guys to stop playing kickball … so once we got our midfielders working the ball up so that we could attack as a unit that’s when we became much more dangerous,” Long Reach coach John Horner said.
It was because of the increased Lightning pressure that Palin knew just how important it was to get his team a second goal. So, with just under 15 minutes left in regulation, he made sure he did all he could to finish his one-on-one chance on the left post after a feed from Jon Horrocks.
Palin ended up slotting the ball off the far post and into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
“That goal was huge because if we didn’t have that cushion and they scored like they did, it would have been a completely different game,” Palin said. “We did a great job of pushing for that second goal and making something happen.”
Long Reach’s goal ended up coming less than five minutes after Palin’s score, cutting the deficit to one when Chris Flowers finished a cross from Derian Quintanilla. For the last eight minutes, the Lightning fought for the equalizer but couldn’t break through the Vikings’ back line again.
Even in defeat, though, Horner saw progress.
“Last game — beating Wilde Lake — and then this game, it looks like we are headed in the right direction,” he said. “We are competing with teams we haven’t been able to the past few years. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.”
Glenelg 2, Reservoir 2
Goals: G – Adrian Mobeka, Nick Stamatakis; Re – Serigne Gueye, Emilio Rodas.
Saves: G – Zack Haussler 3; Re – Kyle Kroll 6.
River Hill 2, CM Wright 0