Staying undefeated sometimes requires a little bit of luck.
In Mt. Hebron’s 3-2 win over Howard Tuesday night, two of the Vikings’ goals — including the game-winner from Liam McCaffery with seven minutes remaining — were balls that were intended to be passes.
The triumph in the near-freezing temperature was Mt. Hebron’s fourth straight to open the season. The Vikings are the lone undefeated boys soccer squad left in Howard County.
“I felt like we were actually fortunate. We put the ball in the right places and got a little lucky,” said Vikings coach Mike Linsenmeyer. “Credit to Howard, they’re a very good team. We were lucky to get out of here with the win.”
Hebron took a 2-0 lead in the first half with goals from Andy Strohman and Ethan Wool-Lewis. Strohman’s goal was a pass into the box that surprised Howard’s goalie and bounced past him for the goal.
After Howard came back to tie the game midway through the second half, McCaffery scored his game-winner in the 73rd minute.
McCaffery, a junior, took a short throw-in and sent a pass into the box for Wool-Lewis — who didn’t redirect the ball as Howard’s goalie expected — that rolled into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
“We work on throw-ins a lot. [On short] throws, I get it and try to send it in, but no one got on the end of it. The goalie got confused, and it just went in the back of the net,” McCaffery said. “Everyone is running in to get the ball, and sometimes random stuff happens in the middle. That’s why you send it in.”
Neither team scored in the first 15 minutes of the contest at Howard High.
After Howard (2-2) cleared a pass near its own box, Strohman sent the ball back into the box. Lack of communication, Lions coach Nils Schroder said, is what led to the nonthreatening attempt ending in the back of the net.
“We made a couple of mistakes in the back,” Schroder said. “We feel like we didn’t make them earn their goals tonight. There were some miscommunications and a couple times tonight where someone was waiting for another person to do something, and that allowed those goals to sneak in.”
Wool-Lewis then scored on a breakaway seven minutes later to put Hebron up 2-0. He sped past two Howard defenders, corralled the through ball and found the back of the net.
“The quality that I like best about Ethan is that he’s a hard worker,” Linsenmeyer said. “He’s a great player, and he’s obviously very talented. But he works hard to make himself and us better.”
The Lions roared back, though, to tie the game by midway through the second half.
Will Tom put Howard on the board two minutes after Wool-Lewis’ score in the first half. Tom, a sophomore, scored off a right-footed shot that bounced over Mt. Hebron’s goalie.
Then, in the 64th minute, Ryan Kuehl sent home the equalizer off a corner kick from Ryan Hartlove.
“We never felt like we were out of the game. That goal was huge,” Schroder said. “We felt like we had all the momentum there.”
Mt. Hebron entered the contest without allowing a goal in its first three contests, and even though that streak ended Tuesday, Linsenmeyer was still pleased with how his back line played. The Vikings defense, especially Mark Adja and Brendan Demek, held star forward Robbie Ryerson scoreless and without many scoring chances.
“The whole backline really did a great job,” Linsenmeyer said. “They stuck [Ryerson] on Mark especially, and he’s only a sophomore. He’s a great kid, and he’s super athletic.”
For most of the game, Mt. Hebron opted for long throw-ins when it had a scoring opportunity. However, Linsenmeyer said his long throwers were hurt near the end of the second half, which is why the Vikings opted for a shorter throw-in to McCaffery.
“The kids made an adjustment. We went short to Liam, and he made a play,” he said. “Liam is a great kid, and he’s always in the right spot. He’s made big plays for us for three years. This was nothing new.”
Mt. Hebron and Howard are both back on the pitch Thursday. The Vikings travel to Oakland Mills, while Howard hosts Centennial.
Mt. Hebron 3, Howard 2
Goals: MH — Andy Strohman, Ethan Wool-Lewis, Liam McCaffery; Ho — Will Tom, Ryan Kuehl.
Assists: Ho — Ryan Hartlove.
Saves: MH — Logan Dunn 3; Ho — Rishabh Banga 8.
Halftime: 2-1, MH.
OTHER BOYS SOCCER SCORES:
Hammond 5, Wilde Lake 1
The Golden Bears scored a season-high five goals and improved to 3-1 on the season, as senior Isaac Owasu led the way with a hat trick. Jason Fuentes had a goal and an assist, while Joel San Martin registered three assists. Coach David Reamer also praised the play of center back Jake Stintges for limiting Wilde Lake’s offensive chances in front of goalie Walid Khokhar (6 saves).
Wilde Lake dropped to 1-3 on the year with the loss.
Goals: Ha — Isaac Owasu 3, Jason Fuentes 1, Emmanuel Oyeymi 1; WL — N/A.
Assists: Ha — Joel San Martin 3, Fuentes 1.
Saves: Ha — Walid Khokhar 6; WL — N/A 9.
River Hill 5, Long Reach 1
River Hill (3-1) got goals from five different players on its way to the convincing win on the road against the Lightning (1-3). Jack Nelson finished off a corner kick by Antonio Paulino in the third minute to kick off the scoring for the Hawks and the score stayed 1-0 into halftime.
Then River Hill broke things open in the second half, as Jed Dixon put in a goal off another corner in the 50th minute and then Milan Gupta finished a cross from Jonah Stoutenborough 14 minutes later. Stoutenborough later added a goal of his own off a pass from Isaac Van Ert and Aryan Reddy finished out the scoring in the 78th minute.
Long Reach’s lone score came in the final minutes off an own goal.
Goals: RH — Jack Nelson, Jed Dixon, Jonah Stoutenborough, Milan Gupta, Aryan Reddy LR — Own Goal.
Assists: RH — Antonio Paulino, Jonah Stoutenborough, Isaac Van Ert, Rafay Nassem.
Saves: RH — Eric Gesell 4; LR — Nate Rogers 11, Darius Hopkins 4.
Centennial 4, Marriotts Ridge 2
After suffering the team’s first loss last week, the Eagles (3-1) got right back on track with the 4-2 win over the Mustangs (1-3). Kodee Karcher scored two goals, both in the first half, and Bryson Baker added a goal and two assists to pace the offensive effort. Centennial had a 3-0 lead before Marriotts Ridge scored two unanswered goals to close within one. But Andy Hockersmith added an insurance tally for the Eagles late in the second half to secure the win.
Vaughn Sines scored the game-winning goal with under three minutes to go to give Glenelg (1-3) the win over Oakland Mills (1-3) on Senior Day.
Goals: G — J.T. Shatzer, Vaughn Sines; OM — N/A.
Assists: G — Siji Jolayemi.
Saves: G — Noah Tajali 6
Reservoir at Atholton (PPD)
GIRLS SOCCER SCORES:
River Hill 2, Long Reach 0
Araolusa Omitowoju had a goal and an assist to pace the Hawks to their second victory of the season. The Hawks (2-2) built a two-goal lead at the half and then cruised the rest of the way to defeat the Lightning (1-2-1).
Goals: RH — E. Devine, A. Omitowoju.
Assists: RH — A. Omitowoju, M. Florenzo.
Saves: RH — N/A; LR — Kailey Leibe 7.
Wilde Lake 7, Hammond 1
The Wildecats improved to 2-1-1 with the convincing win over the Golden Bears (0-4). Gia Johnson, Aicha Wilson and Jillian Ingram all scored two goals apiece, while Wilson also added two assists.
Goals: WL — Gia Johnson 2, Aicha Wilson 2, Jillian Ingram 2, Nadia Coates; Ha — Camryn Johnson.
Assists: WL — Aicha Wilson 2, Sara Moody, Jillian Ingram, Bridget Tiffey, Gabi Olibris
Stephanie Lathrop delivered the game-winning goal in double overtime for her second goal of the game and improve the Gladiators to 2-1-1 on the year. Oakland Mills, which got a goal from Olivia Rollins, dropped to 0-4.
Goals: G — Stephanie Lathrop 2; OM — Olivia Rollins.
Assist: OM — Lilly Smull.
Saves: G — Kendall Castor 1; OM — Paige Andrews 9.
Halftime: 1-0 G; Regulation: 1-1.
Mt. Hebron 2, Howard 1
After falling behind 1-0 in the early stages of the second half on a goal by Howard’s Danielle Campbell, Mt. Hebron responded with two unanswered scores to pull out the victory and improve to 3-1. The Lions dropped to 1-2-1.
Goals: MTH — Kate Hanks, Riley Benson; Ho — Danielle Campbell
The Gators improved to 4-0 on the season behind a strong offensive performance that saw four different players score. Reservoir scored twice in the first 10 minutes, with Avery Oergel and Sophie Davidson finding the net. Atholton (2-2) countered with a goal midway through the opening half and the score stayed at 2-1 going into halftime.
Reservoir then built its lead to 4-1 in the second half, behind goals from Karis Turner and Sam Gucchait, before Atholton scored with five minutes to play and create the final margin.
Goals: Re — Avery Oergel, Sophie Davidson, Karis Turner Sam Gucchait; A — Sarah Saula, Taylor Lau.
Assists: Re — Karis Turner 2, Sam Gucchait.
Saves: Re — Lizzie Dudzinkski 4; A — S. Roerty 9.
Halftime: 2-1 Re.
Marriotts Ridge 2, Centennial 0
The Mustangs (4-0) stayed unbeaten with the two-goal win over the Eagles (1-3), getting goals 10 minutes apart from Giavana Liberto and Megan Wagner. Liberto’s score came first and was a hard shot near the top of the 18-yard box from the right flank and was set up when Wagner intercepted a Centennial pass. Then Wagner was later the recipient of a feed from Jordyn Choe to increase the lead to two.
Goals: MR — Giavana Liberto, Megan Wagner.
Assists: MR — Megan Wagner, Jordyn Choe.
Saves: MR — Caroline Albert 2; C — Rebecca Bianchini 8.