Mt. Hebron boys lacrosse beat Urbana, 13-4, and St. Mary's Ryken, 10-5, to win the Fight for 5 Tournament championship at Blandair Park in Columbia, Marlyland on March 26, 2016.
For the last three years, Dylan Scheeler was a catalyst for the St. Mary's Ryken boys lacrosse team in Southern Maryland.
On March 26, though, Scheeler – now a senior at Mt. Hebron after transferring to the Ellicott City school over the summer – helped his new team defeat his old one, as he scored two goals in a 10-5 Vikings win over the Knights to capture their own Fight for 5 Tournament championship at Blandair Park.
"It was really weird. They were talking me up on the field as much as they could. My cousin's on the team and a lot of people I've been playing with for seven years," said Scheeler, who also scored a game-high five goals to lead Mt. Hebron to a 13-4 win against Urbana in a semifinal. "There was a big expectation (to score). My parents and other people watching really wanted me to play well against my old team. I'm just glad I could help contribute to the win."
Mt. Hebron coach Mike McCarthy admitted he thought someone was playing a joke on him when he received an email from Scheeler and his parents explaining that the 6-foot-6 left-handed attackman was going to be moving to Ellicott City for his senior season. Now he's just happy to see how well the Stevenson-commit is helping his offense.
"He's just a huge match-up problem. When he gets going downhill he's tough to stop. Kids can't hold him," he said. "He's 6-foot-6 but he looks about 6-foot-9 with his helmet on, and he gets so much leverage on the topside and he can get to the goal. And he sees the field well too, which helps out a lot with the shooters like Kyle Sutton and Kyle Watts and those guys away from the goal. He can see the field and make the right looks."
While Scheeler and offense scored 23 goals in the two games, it was the Vikings defense – specifically senior goalie Casey DuBois – that stole the show. DuBois, who finished with 13 saves against Urbana and 21 versus Ryken, allowed just two of the four goals against Hawks and held the Knights offense to two goals before McCarthy unloaded the bench in the final three minutes, resulting in three late goals.
"We didn't play well enough," said Ryken coach Chris Perkinson. "But hats off to Mt. Hebron. ... I think their goalie kept them in it. He's phenomenal. ... We had 10 shots in first quarter and he saved them all. If he doesn't make a few of those saves then we have the lead and I think it's a different game the rest of the way out. But they're a good team. In my opinion it's not a bad loss." Perkinson added that it wasn't strange playing against Scheeler and that he is glad he is contributing to his new team.
"(Scheeler) would have been an asset to our team, definitely," he said. "But I just wish him all the best. He's going to have a great college career at Stevenson so I just hope he keeps working hard and does what he does."
The Knights, a Washington Catholic Athletic Association team that beat Havre De Grace 18-8 in the other semifinal, won the faceoff battle 14-5 and controlled possession for large portions of the game against Mt. Hebron but still couldn't get much of anything past DuBois. McCarthy credited his all-county goalie, calling him "one of the best goalies in the country," but was quick to point out his veteran defense and the chemistry on the field as to other reasons why Ryken couldn't find the net.
"In the second game we struggled on face-offs, but we limited the fast-break opportunities off of it," McCarthy said. "The defense and Casey were great. The offense was good too. When we had possession we executed. I think our efficiency on both sides was really good."
Mt. Hebron boys lacrosse coach Mike McCarthy talks about his team's overall expectations and more entering the 2016 spring season. (Tim Schwartz/Howard County Times video)
Mt. Hebron jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Ryken after goals by Watts and Sutton, but the Knights answered to score two of the next three goals to cut their deficit to 3-2 midway through the second quarter.
From then on, though, it was all Vikings. Scheeler scored his first of the game with 2:13 left before halftime, and Jake Edmonson netted another with just over a minute until the break to make it a 5-2 game.
Mt. Hebron kept the intensity up in the third quarter and resulted in Watts' and Scheeler's second goals before Scott Mackrell joined the scoring party to give his team a commanding 8-2 lead entering the fourth.
Watts completed the hat trick less than four minutes into the period, and then Bryce Brookhart put the Vikings up 10-2 with a goal on the extra-man offense with five minutes left. Ryken scored the game's final three goals in the last three minutes.
"We were all on the same page for the most part and everybody is working together," said Vikings senior defender Matt Leone. "... Casey was just a brick wall in the goal and he always gets the clear out as soon as possible."
Against Urbana, Scheeler showed his teammates what he was made of. He scored the game's first goal before the Hawks tied the game late in the first quarter, but Mt. Hebron responded by tallying 12 of the game's next 13 goals – including a five-minute stretch early in the second half where Scheeler scored three times. He finished with five in the contest while Mackrell added three.
McCarthy said expectations are high after going 10-1 in county play last spring and 18 seniors on this year's roster, but added they need to avoid injuries – like the season-ending knee injuries to senior Will Hammon and junior Jeremiah Watson – the rest of the way and to take it one game at a time.
"I think we have to slow down. Yes, we have potential," he said. "We have Queen Anne's one Saturday (April 2), a young team last year, so we'll take them then get into the league play and Anne Arundel league play. I think they know the potential is there and the sky is the limit, but they have to be willing to work hard. Nobody is going to give it to them. We're going to have to earn it. ... They want to play well for each other. They're starting to come together as a team and it's good to see."
Fight for 5 Tournament (at Blandair Park)
Mt. Hebron (0-0 county, 2-0 overall) 13, Urbana 4 (semifinal)