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Howard County Sports

Mt. Hebron girls lacrosse showcases unselfish offense to defeat Atholton, 19-4

Running down the alley, Mt. Hebron senior attacker Audrey Harrington fired a cross-field backdoor pass to midfielder Peyton Sims.

Just outside the crease, Sims corralled the ball and utilized a stick fake to put the shot past Atholton goalie Kara Schmidt. Sims’ goal was a prime example of both the Vikings’ offensive unselfishness and off-ball movement.

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Mt. Hebron’s offense was firing on all cylinders in the 19-4 victory over Atholton, as 15 of the 19 goals were assisted with eight different players tallying assists.

“In practice, our coaches make it a point that we practice how we play,” Harrington said. “So, we’re never sitting around in practice, we’re always doing stuff where we’re cutting through. If we’re ever standing still our coaches say, ‘Stop standing still.’ They always call us out for it, which is good because then that correlates into a game where we’re always moving off ball able to get other players open for their opportunities.”

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Nine different Viking scored goals, led by hat tricks from Sims, sophomore midfielder Olivia Hoover and freshman Kaitlyn Magdar. Harrington, Jessie Barke, Kate Webb and Kate Carneal each scored twice. Carneal’s two goals were her first on varsity, while Brooke Wildman also notched her first varsity goal.

“That is definitely what I strive for,” Mt. Hebron coach Samantha Hall said of the offensive balance. “I don’t like one or two players padding stats, that’s not what we’re about. I want every game to be multiple people scoring and I feel like our offense is capable of that this year. We’re super dynamic and versatile through our midfield and attack for that to happen. I’ve been trying to push that on them.”

Mt. Hebron started strong with six goals in the opening four minutes, capitalizing quickly in transition. Their fast-paced offense and sustained possessions were courtesy of sophomore midfielder Ellie Smith who excelled in the draw circle. She also tallied a goal. Maintaining possession, Mt. Hebron extended its lead to 9-0 in the opening 15 minutes of the first half.

“We had some great play on our draw circle,” Hall said. “That midfield line that we have is really fast and athletic and they’re able to talk and communicate through the draws. Overall, we had a great team win. We were able to move the ball really well.”

After the Vikings jumped out to a nine-goal advantage, the Raiders responded with back-to-back goals from Kendall Dean and Aryanna Kelly, who scored all four of Atholton’s goals. However, Mt. Hebron responded right back finding seams behind the Raiders with five goals in the final five minutes of the first half to take a 14-2 advantage at the break.

“We have a lot of girls that haven’t been playing for too long,“ Atholton coach Jenna Winand said. “We’re getting there, and this game is looking 10 times better than what our scrimmages looked, so I’m really proud of them today.”

With a substantial advantage at the half, Mt. Hebron’s offense maintained the unselfishness that brought them success in the opening 25 minutes. Despite facing a barrage of shots, Schmidt notched several strong saves in the second half for Atholton, finishing the game with 12.

Complementing their offensive fluidity, the Vikings defense held strong in the second half as goalie Stephanie Luzhansky closed off the shooting angles of the Raiders’ attackers and midfielders.


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