All Marriotts Ridge can do after defeating Mt. Hebron, 4-3, Monday is watch, wait and ponder.
Will it get a share of this year’s county title?
The Mustangs (6-1 county, 9-3-1 overall) certainly did what they needed to do and that was beat archrival Mt. Hebron (4-3, 6-7) on the Vikings’ Senior Day.
The victory wasn’t assured until the last few minutes of the game.
“We really wanted to be intense,” said Marriotts Ridge junior Emily Talentino. “I think we really played well in the first couple of minutes. Our passes were really spot on.”
“The past couple of games we didn’t have the spark that we needed, but I think we had the spark today and we gave it our all,” added Mustangs senior Caitlin Ohnmacht. “To come out with a win was nice.”
Acadia Noll scored Marriotts Ridge’s first goal 11 minutes into the game. But Mt. Hebron quickly answered on a fast break, as Ellie Miller scored with an assist from Erin Demek.
Demek scored on a penalty corner a few minutes later to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
“We were uneasy when they scored, but we picked it up and got some more goals in,” Talentino said.
Erin Topaltzas got the equalizer for Marriotts Ridge three minutes before halftime and the Mustangs carried that momentum into the second half, adding goals by Michaela Hartigan and Caroline Blalock.
Hartigan’s tally was her first of the season. It came on a fast break with an assist from Blalock.
Hartigan, a midfielder, doesn’t normally play on the forward line.
“She was in the right position and got the job done,” said Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado.
The Mustangs have been trying different things with their lineup, but had to make more changes than anticipated against Mt. Hebron.
One starter was out sick for Marriotts Ridge and it was Sarah Bengermino’s first game back from injury. Halfway through the game, Bengermino sprained her ankle, which precipitated more lineup tinkering.
“I am impressed with how people stepped up across the board and played in positions they haven’t played all season,” Gado said.
The Vikings made another run at the Mustangs late in the game. Demek scored to bring her team to within a goal, 4-3, with less than 7 minutes to play.
Mt. Hebron threatened, but did not score again.
“We were kind of frantic with the time running down,” Demek said. “We got a lot of corners, but we didn’t finish.”
The Vikings had an 8-2 advantage in offensive penalty corners.
“I definitely think that we played more as a team today — communicating, passing and working together,” Gado said.
The Mustangs will keep an eye on the outcome of Tuesday afternoon’s Glenelg-Centennial game, which will determine whether there is one county champion or co-champions.
A Gladiator win will give Glenelg sole possession of the county title; a loss would create a tie with Marriotts Ridge.
Both Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron have one non-league game left on their regular season schedule, with the Mustangs hosting South Carroll and the Vikings traveling to Fallston on Wednesday.
The playoff draw takes place on Thursday, with playoffs starting on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Marriotts Ridge 4, Mt. Hebron 3
Goals: MR — Acadia Noll, Erin Topaltzas, Michaela Hartigan, Caroline Blalock. MH — Erin Demek 2, Ellie Miller.
Assists: MR — Caroline Blalock 2, Sarah Blalock. MH — Erin Demek.
Saves: MR — Katie Garman 14. MH — Jen Schaaf 5, Julia Cargiulo 1.
Halftime: tied, 2-2.
Around the league:
Centennial 4, Oakland Mills 0
County standings (as of Oct. 17)
(ranked on county win percentage)
Glenelg, 6-0 (100%) county, 13-0 overall
Marriotts Ridge, 6-1 (87.5), 9-3-1
Centennial, 7-3 (70.0), 9-4
Mt. Hebron, 4-3 (57.1), 6-7
River Hill, 6-5 (54.5), 8-5
Long Reach, 3-4 (42.8), 6-5
Atholton, 3-4 (42.8), 6-6
Howard, 4-6 (40.0), 4-6
Reservoir, 4-6 (40.0), 5-8
Hammond, 2-4 (33.3), 4-6
Oakland Mills, 1-5 (16.6), 3-8
Wilde Lake, 0-6 (00.), 1-11