Fifth-ranked Mount Hebron completed its most successful league season in school history yesterday with a wind-blown 4-3 victory over Wilde Lake.
Wilde Lake scored three goals and missed a penalty kick in the final nine minutes to create one of the season's more exciting finishes.
The Vikings (8-3-1 overall, 6-1 league) earned second place in the league behind unbeaten Centennial, which they will play host to Tuesday in the Class 3A East Region playoffs. The Eagles clinched the Howard County title by defeating Glenelg yesterday.
With the wind at its back in the first half, Mount Hebron dominated Wilde Lake by scoring four unanswered goals.
Because it was the last regular-season game, Wilde Lake coach Dave Nesbitt started senior goalkeeper Matt Pickett instead of first-string sophomore goalkeeper Nick Parypinski.
Pat Halter scored his seventh goal of the season and had his fifth and sixth assists for Mount Hebron. He scored the game's first goal on a header off a long free kick by Robbie Graham in the fourth minute.
Eric Mason's volley off an assist from Mike Stromberg found the net in the 12th minute.
Robbie Graham beat the goalkeeper one-on-one in the 34th minute, and his volley off an assist from Halter made it 3-0.
After Pickett made two outstanding saves, Brian Picker's volley from in front of the net off Halter's assist in the 39th minute made it 4-0.
Mount Hebron outshot Wilde Lake 12-6 in the first half.
Wilde Lake (4-5-3, 1-4-2) dominated the second half with the wind at its back. The Wildecats outshot Mount Hebron, 17-2.
But they couldn't score until after first-string goalkeeper Tom Wunk left in the 60th minute. Wunk banged into the post while making one of three outstanding saves.
"We had planned to play our back-up goalkeeper Jon Eaton the final 20 minutes no matter what," said Vikings first-year coach Scott Conroy. Conroy had special incentive to win , because he coached the junior varsity at Wilde Lake last season.