It wasn’t River Hill’s best effort of the season to date, however, in a game it needed to win to remain tied atop the league standings, the Hawks found a way to get the job done against visiting Mt. Hebron Wednesday.
Jake Turney scored two goals, including the deciding tally with 1:32 left in double overtime, as River Hill improved to 3-0 in county play with a 2-1 victory.
“We got lulled into playing their knock-it-around style and they dictated play… credit to them for that,” River Hill coach Matt Shagogue said. “That said, I’m happy to win. We’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.
“Hebron and us, we just battle each other every game. Nothing comes easy.”
Neither team managed much in the way of quality offensive chances in the opening 40 minutes, with the game still tied at 0-0 heading into the half.
But it didn’t take long after intermission for things to pick up. A little more than a minute into the second half, River Hill’s Zach Riso slotted a pass ahead to Turney, who finished into the right side of the net.
Considering he had been man-marked and accounted for everywhere he went during the first half, Turney said patience was critical for him to finally break through.
“I kept trying to find space, dropping back a little to get away from the three guys they had on me, and waited for my chances,” he said.
Mt. Hebron eventually capitalized on some patience of its own, finally getting on the scoreboard nine minutes after River Hill’s first tally. Emmanuel Wright collected a ball on the right wing, after it had been deflected his way by Lucas Rose, and finished into the right corner.
The score remained tied thru the rest of regulation, the first overtime period and the initial eight minutes of double overtime. But just as things appeared headed toward a draw, Turney came through with the golden goal from the left wing.
“The ball dropped down to me and the first thing that came to my mind was to relax,” Turney said. “I had to pick a spot, put it there and whatever happens, happens.
“I saw far post was open and I just curled it back in there.”
River Hill stormed the field and celebrated a win that allowed them to keep pace with Marriotts Ridge (3-0 county) and Centennial (3-0).
“Beginning of the season you want to have a strong build up, want to get to 3-0 in the county and be at the top of the table,” Turney said. “This one was huge. A tie would have been a step back for us.”
Mt. Hebron, meanwhile, suffered its second one-goal loss of the season. The Vikings had previously lost to Centennial, 2-1, and their coach Mike Linsenmeyer said there’s plenty to work on going forward.
“I’m actually pretty disappointed with the effort and maybe some of that has to do with us not practicing for three days … but no excuses, they outworked us and that’s why they won,” Linsenmeyer said. “We gave up a free shot at the end of the game and you can’t do that.
“Hopefully we learn from this and rebound tomorrow against Wilde Lake.”
River Hill 2, Mt. Hebron 1 2OT
Goals: RH - Turney 2; MH – Wright.
Assists: RH – Riso; MH – Rose.
Saves: RH – Pats 3; MH – Buris 5.