Mt. Hebron clinched its second-straight win Thursday after scoring 15 unanswered goals to propel the 15-1 victory over visiting River Hill.
The Vikings looked impressive in the outing, as they out-possessed the Hawks on the draw 14-3, out-shot them 15-6, and also caused numerous turnovers both on the defensive end and on the ride.
"I think in the first two games we were really trying to find ourselves as a team and really connect all the different units — the D, the midfield and the attack — and I think in the past two games we've really moved without the ball and we've played as a team and for each other, which has made a big difference," said Mt. Hebron junior midfielder Erin Demek, who finished with four goals and two assists Thursday. "Also, we're just really communicating well on defense. They are just really good wins and they've helped our confidence a lot."
After two tough losses against Glenelg and St. Paul's to start the season, Mt. Hebron (1-1 county, 2-1 overall) produced back-to-back solid outings in victories over Severna Park and River Hill.
"I think we're really jelling at the right time," said Vikings coach Lindsay Menton. "I think with each game we've really taken important lessons with us. Even with this game, I think there is a lot we can learn from it and we're just taking it and moving forward in the right direction. I am very proud of the girls of their effort, not just today but as we progress through the season."
Although Mt. Hebron won the opening draw, River Hill (2-2, 3-2) put away the game's first goal. Gaby Hamburger finished a free position from the center hash to give the Hawks the, 1-0, cushion with 21:34 remaining.
Kaitlin Rice tied the score after finishing on a feed from Christina Bodziak a few minutes later. Demek then gave the Vikings the lead with 15:44 to play after scoring on a free position opportunity.
Lexi Arens found Demek on back-to-back offensive possessions to boost the lead to 4-1 just two minutes later. The duo then added three more goals before the end of the half to extend the advantage to six at the break.
"We talked a lot about putting together two full 25 minute halves in order to make sure that we come out on top," Menton said. "I think early in the season was a little bit more challenging for us to accomplish that, but I think we've really worked on developing that mental toughness, that grit on the ground balls and opportunities for possession because they are so valuable in this game."
Mt. Hebron definitely combined for two strong halves against the Hawks, as it quickly piled onto its lead out of the halftime break.
Arens assisted Megan Pallozzi a minute into the second half and then tallied another assist about five minutes later on a feed to Ellie Miller. Arens followed that up with a goal not long after, which pushed the advantage, 10-1.
Arens ultimatley contributed on nine of her team's 15 goals in the win, matching Demek with four goals, while also adding a game-high five assists.
"Obviously Lexi has been a great leader for us on attack, just controlling the pace and just having some good game sense from her about working to feed it in," said Menton. "And then Dem, she's all over the place. I think a lot of people probably don't envy that midfield position, especially now with that new possession rule in the middle, so I think that our midfielders are working hard on both ends of the field and she's definitely helped control that tempo."
Pallozzi added another score in the second half, while Miller, Emily Hammond and Julia Carguilo each picked up goals to round out the prolific offensive night for the Vikings.
Miller, along with her two goals, also shined on the circle and on the re-defend. She caused three turnovers during River Hill's clear, while picking up six ground balls to gain her team possession off the draw.
"I think all three of them [Demek, Arens and Miller] have really stepped into leadership roles this season," Menton said. "I think Ellie came into this season in great physical shape and think that really helps on the rides and everything. She is just really setting the bar high and really being a great role model for others about what it means to play all out. We say you're not done until the ball is at the other end of the field past the restraining line, and I think she really emulates that in her play."
Jen Schaaf finished with eight saves for Mt. Hebron, while Georgia Ryan added one stop in the second-half of action.
The Hawks were without starting goalie and senior captain Annie Maloney Thursday, and in her absence Madison Craney and Tess Hawes split time in net and registered three saves apiece.
"Not our best game. We didn't have our starting goalie, but the other two stepped up and did the best job they could," said River Hill coach Jay Bond. "Defensively we're getting better, but once again I think if we had her in the goal I don't think it would have been 15 for sure. We're a little inexperienced on attack. We need to shoot better, and those are the areas we need to work on in the second half of the season."
The Vikings will look to extend their winning streak to three Monday against Manchester Valley, while River Hill will try and notch its third county victory back home against Wilde Lake.
Mt. Hebron 15, River Hill 1
MH (1-1 county, 2-2 overall), RH (2-2, 3-2)
Goals: MH — Arens 4, Demek 4, Pallozzi 2, Miller 2, Hammond 1, Rice 1, Carguilo 1; Hamburger 1.
Assists: MH — Arens 5, Demek 2, Bodziak 1, Pallozzi 1.
Saves: MH — Schaaf 8, Ryan 1; Craney 3, Hawes 3.
Halftime: 7-1, Mt. Hebron.
Around the league:
Marriotts Ridge 21, Atholton 2
The Mustangs picked up their second county victory and third win overall Thursday against the visiting Raiders.
Marriotts Ridge took a 12-1 lead after the first half and ultimately had 11 different goal scorers in the game to propel the 19-point victory.
Hayleigh Simpson led the way with four goals, while Katie Thompson, Eloise Clevenger and Sydney Bender each added three. Gracie Kennedy finished with a game-high three assists in the outing, while Olivia Ranta recorded two saves to stay perfect on the season.
Atholton took four shots on goal and finished on two, with Ella Farris and Olivia Chory each adding a score. Hannah Bizokas and Madison Eaton split time in net with each finishing with five saves.
Both teams are on the road in their next matchups on April 5, with Atholton visiting Mt. Hebron, and Marriotts Ridge taking on Broadneck at 5:30 p.m.
MR (2-0 county, 3-0 overall), A (2-2, 2-3)
Goals: MR — Simpson 4, Thompson 3, E. Clevenger 3, Bender 3, Kennedy 2, C. Blalock 2, Hensh 1, S. Blalock 1, Ohnmacht 1, S. Cleveneger 1, Held 1; A — Farris 1, Chory 1.
Assists: MR — G. Kennedy 3, Kim 1, Cooke 1, Ohnmacht 1, Sullivan 1, C. Blalock 1, Kennedy 1.
Saves: MR — Ranta 2; A — Eaton 5, Bizokas 5.
Halftime: 12-1, Marriotts Ridge.
Garrison Forest 12, Glenelg Country 11
GCS (2-1 IAAM A, 4-1 overall)
Goals: GCS — Sheehan 5, Arnold 2, Haney 2, O'Leary 2; GF — Fielder 6, Lazandes 4, Lynch 1, Goltlieb 1.
Assists: GCS — Arnold 3, Marshall 2, Ayer 1, Glaros 1: GF — Goltlieb 2, Lazandes 1.
Saves: GCS — Dyer 7; GF — Cadiron 11.
Halftime: 6-5, Glenelg Country.
St. Tim's 12, Chapelgate 3
Sydney Carnock scored all three goals for the Yellowjackets.