In a preview of a potential matchup in the upcoming 3A East region playoffs, which begin next week, Mt. Hebron bounced back from a heartbreaking overtime defeat with a convincing 14-5 victory over Atholton on Tuesday afternoon.
The Vikings built a 7-3 lead by halftime and increased their advantage from there, finishing the day with goals from seven different players. After losing that contest by a goal to Centennial last week, Mt. Hebron coach Lindsay Menton said it was encouraging to see how quickly her team learned from its mistakes.
“While the Centennial loss was definitely a tough one, we took what we could from that and the biggest thing was being ready to go from the start,” Menton said. “We got ourselves in a big hole in that one and spent the entire game digging ourselves out of it, while today we got the lead early and then were able to maintain it. Coming out strong makes a huge difference in terms of morale and energy.”
Mt. Hebron (4-3, 6-6) scored the first goal of the game and then traded scores with Atholton (3-5, 6-7) in the early stages of the first half. But the Vikings created a little separation right before halftime and then carried that momentum over after intermission to string together three unanswered goals to push the team’s lead to seven.
Lindsay Connell (3 goals), Ellie Miller (3 goals) and Michelle Pak (3 goals) all took turns finding the net to lead the Mt. Hebron charge.
“Coming out of halftime, you always want to avoid having a lull so I was very happy to see us set the tone for the rest of the game with our first couple plays in the second half,” Menton said. “Our defense stepped up by forcing a couple turnovers, got the ball up field and then our offense converted.”
Atholton, which was coming off a pair of victories at the Glen Burnie tournament over the weekend, was led by three goals from Olivia Chory. Raiders coach Laura Foerster Puglisi said that while the loss to the Vikings was disappointing, it doesn’t detract from the positive strides her players have made these last few weeks.
“We just talked about how we have to immediately hit that reset button after today and not let this take away from the positive momentum we have been building,” she said. “The nice thing is that this is a really committed and positive group of young ladies, who I’m extremely confident will be ready to rock and roll against Reservoir on Thursday.”
Mt. Hebron, meanwhile, has games left against Arundel and Marriotts Ridge to close out the regular season.