Howard County Times

Mt. Hebron girls lacrosse fights back to defeat two-time 3A state champion Marriotts Ridge, 14-13, in overtime

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A day before Friday’s regional semifinal against Marriotts Ridge, Mt. Hebron girls lacrosse coach Samantha Hall encouraged her players to watch “Rocky.”

Hall wanted her girls to learn from his resilience in the movies, getting back up every time he took a punch. The two-time defending Class 3A state champion and 3A East Region I top-seed Mustangs delivered the first punch, taking a five-goal halftime lead. Both teams continued to exchange body blows in the second half with Marriotts Ridge leading by four inside of 10 minutes remaining.


However, No. 4 seed Mt. Hebron got up off the canvas and battled back with four consecutive goals to force overtime. Then, Kaitlyn Magdar delivered the knockout blow. She wrapped around the goal and used multiple stick fakes to create separation. Magdar then fired a shot past Sydney Proper and was immediately engulfed by teammates after completing a 14-13 come-from-behind win.

The win is Mt. Hebron’s first over Marriotts Ridge since 2012 and sends the Vikings to Monday’s regional final against No. 2 seed Westminster.


“Every time Rocky took a punch he got back up and as long as you have final swing and the knockout, then you win,” Hall said. “The girls, we just kept repeating that to them and they really took it in and they proved that they’re fighters. That’s how we know they can be and how they could’ve been the whole season in certain games and today they finally proved it they can do whatever they put their minds to.”

Annika Huelskamp put the Mustangs up by four with 8:32 remaining and Marriotts Ridge seemed poised to reach another regional final. Mt. Hebron (10-4) had other ideas, with Ellie Smith consistently winning in the draw circle and the Vikings’ other midfielders helping to fight and maintain possession.

Olivia Hoover started the comeback by scoring on an 8-meter, a common theme down the stretch in regulation. Smith scored back to-back goals to bring the Vikings within one inside of four minutes remaining, also drawing a yellow card on the play. Hoover evened the game just over a minute later on another 8-meter opportunity, sending the Vikings’ bench into a frenzy.

“I just think it was the motivation that the coaches give us,” Hoover said of the turnaround. “We had multiple timeouts, just the overall support and it doesn’t just come from the draws. We start with the draws and it also comes to the defense winning all the 50-50 balls, the attack moving it and being selfless, moving the ball around and giving everyone a chance.”

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Marriotts Ridge (10-5) won the overtime draw but Vikings defender Riley Osburn, in her first game back from a concussion, forced a turnover. Mt. Hebron called timeout to reset and less than a minute later, Magdar sent the Vikings home feeling euphoric.

“All I was thinking is how much that I wanted this for my teammates and how much that, if I could do it, that it would help everyone,” Magdar said. “If I wasn’t going to get it, I knew Olivia would. Either way one of us was going to get there. Every one of us had each other’s backs there in the last few seconds.”

Mt. Hebron led by two midway through the first half before Marriotts Ridge took control in the final eight minutes. The Mustangs scored seven straight goals before the half as Sophia Baxter and Chrish Vaxmonsky spearheaded the run, taking a 9-4 halftime lead. Baxter scored two of her team-high four goals during the stretch, while Vaxmonsky also scored both of her goals.

However, in the second half, the Mustangs were unable to string consecutive goals together. Each time they scored, Mt. Hebron mounted an answer. Gaining confidence with each goal, the Vikings’ final six goals of regulation were all scored on 8-meter opportunities. Freshman Ella Berger finished two of those, playing a more prominent role after senior Kate Webb suffered a season-ending injury in the first meeting between the teams.


“I think they had some strong speed going into their dodges and we were a half a second behind in most, which led to fouling, unfortunately, and putting them on the line way too much,” Marriotts Ridge coach Amanda Brady said. “That definitely ended up hurting us.”

A few minutes later, the Vikings were jumping for joy, while the Mustangs’ quest way for a three-peat ended sooner than they hoped.

“I can’t even think about it,” Hoover said. “We’ve never gone this far. Especially beating Marriotts Ridge, I think we made the coaches proud because it hasn’t been done in 11 years. We knew we could get here, but being in the moment is so surreal.”