Mt. Hebron and Marriotts Ridge each won their own tournaments Saturday, but neither team won in convincing fashion.
“It’s not pretty, but sometimes you just have to gut it out,” said Mt. Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland after her team defeated North Harford, 2-1, to win the Viking tournament for the second consecutive year.
Marriotts Ridge needed overtime to claim the Mustang tournament over Patterson Mill, 3-2.
Glenelg and Reservoir placed second in the South River and Paint Branch tournaments, respectively.
Centennial (Centennial tournament), River Hill (Viking), Long Reach (Paint Branch) and Oakland Mills (Southern-AA) won the consolation games in the tournaments they played in.
The Betty Lang tournament at Howard High had to be cancelled after two teams dropped out and replacements could not be found.
After being unable to capitalize on numerous scoring chances, Mt. Hebron finally got a ball across the goal line with 39 seconds left in the first half of the Viking tournament championship.
Senior Lauren Schaaf inserted the ball on a corner and then went to the near post. Natalie Fyock sent the ball toward goal and Schaaf knocked it in for a 1-0 Mt. Hebron halftime lead.
Five minutes into the second half, the host school got an insurance goal when Tianna Wallpher scored off an assist from Molly Bishop.
“Being up, 2-0, makes you feel a little better but we knew North Harford is a very good team and we couldn’t let up at all,” Bishop said.
North Harford center mid Rachel Baca tallied a goal with 6:40 left in the game to cut Mt. Hebron’s lead in half.
The last three minutes of play was a battle. Mt. Hebron would get the ball in their offensive end in an effort to ice the game, but North Harford’s defense would take it away. Mt. Hebron’s defense, led by Monica Linn, Kelly Comiskey and Shannon Kelliher kept getting it back for their team.
“I did not want them to cross the 50. I was determined to keep the ball up” on attack, Linn said. “They are very talented and I was afraid they might get a corner like in our previous game.”
Mt. Hebron defeated Dulaney, 3-2, in the tournament’s first round.
North Harford edged River Hill, 4-3, with a late goal by Baca in the other first-round game.
After scoreless play through regulation, River Hill defeated Dulaney in overtime to finish third. Originally, River Hill was not slated to be in the tournament but the Hawks stepped up when Catonsville dropped out.
Although Saturday’s weather was beautiful, two full field hockey games in a day was taxing for all teams.
“We were exhausted,” said North Harford coach Carla Harward. “Playing two games in one day, that’s tough, and this was our first game-game. This was our first test and we had two good tests. …We’re a young team and we are ironing out the kinks. That’s why these tournaments are great.”
Ireland admitted that her team wasn’t on top of its game either.