Behind the five-goal effort of sophomore attackman Mike Selawski, Mount Hebron made it to the state finals for the fourth time in five years last night, defeating Queen Anne's, 8-7, at UMBC.
To win, they had to survive a strong overhand attempt from about 12 feet on the right side by Jason Bitter that sailed high with two seconds left.
The difference in last night's Class 1A-2A state semifinal may have been scouting.
"They haven't seen us play, and we taped them and saw what they could do and took advantage of their weaknesses," Selawski said. "This was the best team we've played, with the exception of McDonogh and St. Mary's."
Selawski scored four of Mount Hebron's six goals in the first half as the Vikings built a 6-5 lead. Twice he was fed by attackman Bryan Warner, and twice he scored solo.
"We changed to a long-stick slide on [Selawski] in the second half, and that controlled him better," said Queen Anne's coach Andy Schipul. "We scouted them only once -- against Broadneck [Mount Hebron's first game of the season], because this was our seventh game in 14 days.
"They had more shooters than we're used to seeing and handled us on faceoffs," he continued. "But the key was ground balls. We had wanted to control the game. We also failed to capitalize on some good chances."
Schipul praised the work of Mount Hebron's long-stick defenseman Dave Smith, who is headed to UMBC next fall.
"They didn't beat us physically," Smith said. "They scored on off-ball stuff and man-down. We weren't thinking. But God gave us the strength to get through."
Selawski, who had 59 goals this season, scored the first goal of the second half.
Warner scored with 2: 50 left in the third quarter to put the Vikings ahead, 8-5.
Ryan Shiley scored for the Lions with 1: 25 left in the third period. And Tom Simpler made it an 8-7 game 45 seconds into the fourth quarter.
After that, the defenses took over.
Mount Hebron (14-5) rode out a two-man-down situation with about seven minutes left to play that deflated the Lions.
"We thought our attack could go on their defense, but their defense did a nice job, and our offense didn't play smart," Mount Hebron coach Jeff Doolan said.
"Their midfield was the strongest part of their team. We knew everything you could possibly want to know about them. I was calling their players by their first names, I knew them so well."
Mount Hebron's sophomore goalkeeper Dan Valente made nine saves and said he was pretty nervous on Queen Anne's final shot with two seconds left.
"I saw it coming and just hoped it would go over," sighed Valente.
Mount Hebron, which lost in overtime in the state finals in 1995, 1996 and 1997, will attempt to break that streak next Wednesday at UMBC.
Yesterday's result (At UMBC)
Class 1A-2A Mt. Hebron 8, Q. Anne's 7
Today's games (At UMBC)
Hereford vs. Towson, 1
Fallston vs. Westminster, 11
Dulaney vs. Severna Park, 7
State finals (At UMBC)
Class 3A-4A, 8
Class 1A-2A, 6
Pub Date: 5/22/99