The victims keep piling up at Mount Hebron's feet.
Last night, the top-ranked Vikings took aim at eighth-ranked, undefeated Liberty in the Class 2A-1A, Region I championship game. The result read much like the rest of Mount Hebron's season.
Cathy Nelson tied a school record with eight goals, and the Hebron defense held Liberty scoreless for two-thirds of the game, as the Vikings routed the Lions, 17-7.
Hebron (16-0), which has won 34 consecutive games, moves on to the state semifinals Friday at Catonsville Community College, where the Vikings will try to take another step toward their second straight 2A-1A title.
"We've been tested. I think we have the intimidation factor working for us. We've got the reputation, we've got the ranking," Mount Hebron coach P. J. Kesmodel said. "They [Liberty] are young, but they've got some talent. They're going to be real good."
The host Lions (13-1) weren't nearly good enough last night. Their defense, which had given up seven goals a game, could not stop Hebron's dynamic scoring combination of Nelson and Lori Pasquantonio (four goals, two assists). Nelson added two assists.
Liberty's offense, averaging 16 goals, also found out Hebron is more than simply a scoring machine. For a 33-minute stretch, the Lions did not score. During that drought, Hebron scored 11 unanswered goals to turn a 6-3 contest into a 17-3 laugher with 12:52 left.
Megan Horneman scored three goals to lead Liberty. Chrissy Primavera, Carroll County's leading scorer, was shut out.
"What a game the defense played," Kesmodel said. "We weren't picking their kids up early inside the eight [meter mark]. Once we starting pushing them out to the 12 mark and taking their drives away, they didn't pass the ball. And Cathy and Lori put on a show after that."
The Lions hung with Hebron briefly. After the Vikings had taken a 3-0 lead, Liberty came back to score twice to make it 3-2 with 18:49 left in the first half. Kim Frye then cut Hebron's lead to 6-3 with 11:26 left in the half.
From that point, the game belonged to Mount Hebron. Amy Fine, battling the flu, started the barrage with an unassisted goal. Then, Nelson came alive by scoring three of the next four goals, as Hebron took an 11-3 lead at halftime.
Goalkeeper Dani Fostik recorded 18 saves for Liberty.