Top-ranked Bryn Mawr completed its sweep through Howard County yesterday with a 4-0 victory over No. 14 Mount Hebron.
The Mawrtians (7-0) also cruised past Wilde Lake, 3-0, and River Hill, 3-0, but Vikings coach Jeannette Ireland said, "Playing [Bryn Mawr] can only help improve your program.
"It's great to be on the field with them," said Ireland, whose team has reached the state tournament the past two years. "They are really glued together as a team. They support each other and they play together as a unit. They give us something to aspire to."
That unity showed early as the Mawrtians controlled the ball for almost all of the first 20 minutes. They needed only 10 minutes, before the Vikings ever took a shot, to build a 2-0 edge.
On a penalty corner 4: 47 into the game, Sarah Sanborn scored the first goal. Carey Fetting-Smith took Jen Ahn's corner hit at the top of the circle and passed it on to Sanborn on the left. Sanborn punched her shot inside the near post.
Four minutes later, Ahn sprinted in from the left side to shoot a Miles Whitman pass under the leg of Vikings goalie Katelyn Hoffman as Hoffman attempted a split save.
Amy Price gave the Mawrtians a 3-0 lead on an unassisted goal with 12: 24 left in half.
"They moved the ball really well," said Vikings midfielder Liz Eberhart. "They got the ball down there so quickly that we weren't ready [in the circle]."
The Vikings (1-3-1), however, made the rest of the game much harder for Bryn Mawr.
Late in the first half, Mawrtians defender Kelly Noon made a terrific one-on-one play to stop Katie Jeschke's drive to goal and Fetting-Smith cleared a ball off the goal line on Mount Hebron's only corner of the half.
After the break, the Vikings continued to pressure the Mawrtians and they kept the ball in their end most of the half. They moved the ball well through the midfield, but couldn't put anything past the Mawrtians defense, led by Noon, Courtney Shay and goalie Katie Coyne, who had two saves and cleared away several other balls.
"They did have the ball an awful lot in the second half," said Noon. "We had some breakdowns. We weren't pressuring them enough."
"You have to give [Mount Hebron] credit," said Mawrtians coach Jeanette Budzik, who praised the play of Vikings forward Jeschke and Leigh Langmead. "They broke on us, they got back on our defense and they came close. They were fighting to the end."
The Mawrtians, however, added an opportunistic goal midway through the half. As players scuffled to control Meagan Perry's pass into the middle of the circle, Ahn shot the loose ball into the corner.