A day after a heartbreaking overtime loss, Mt. Hebron got itself back on track Thursday against Wilde Lake.
Scoring once in each half to go along with a solid defensive effort, the Vikings pulled back to .500 in county play with a 2-0 victory.
"I really wanted to see how they would respond to not playing that well yesterday, and for the most part I thought we responded well," said Mt. Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer, who watched his team surrender a goal in the final minute of double overtime against River Hill on Wednesday to lose, 2-1. "Still a lot to work on, but definitely better. We got some good individual performances today."
Both Mt. Hebron (2-2, 5-2) and Wilde Lake (1-3, 2-4-1) came into the day with identical records in league play, having each lost one-goal games to River Hill and Centennial.
And in the early going it was actually Wilde Lake that was dictating play. The Wildecats outshot the Vikings, 3-0, in the opening 20 minutes.
But, with the score still tied at zero, Mt. Hebron's Danny Beatty made sure his team's first shot on goal counted. Collecting a ball just across midfield with 17:40 left in the opening half, the junior lofted a ball toward the Wilde Lake net from roughly 40 yards out and watched as it sailed over Wildecat goalie Patrick Riley for a 1-0 lead.
"Usually over the course of the season luck goes both ways and that there was a little lucky, but you take them any way you can get them," Linsenmeyer said.
Things only got worse for Wilde Lake ten minutes later, as all-county defender was issued a red card. The Wildecats were forced to play down a man the rest of the way.
"That was very deflating," Wilde Lake coach Jon Robinson said. "We had played really well at the beginning, but when we gave up that goal the kids kind of let down for a little bit. Then we had that red card and it just deflated us more."
Mt. Hebron got itself an insurance tally eight minutes into the second half. Andrew Tucker streaked down the right side and crossed the ball to Emmanuel Wright, who finished his second goal in as many days.
Wilde Lake was unable to get on the scoreboard before the final whistle blew.
"We're playing hard, but we just can't put the ball in the back of the net right now," Robinson said. "We've moved some kids around to try and solve that problem … it's still a work in progress though. We're close, we just have to figure out how to get over the hump."