It's safe to say Mount Hebron and River Hill won't be exchanging Christmas cards in the off-season after yesterday's lacrosse game, a 9-3 Vikings win.
"They don't particularly care for us, we don't particularly care for them," said River Hill coach Keith Gonsouland. "But hey, we're not out here to make friends. We're here to win."
The feeling wasn't exclusive to the Hawks. The Vikings made it quite clear that they don't care for River Hill, and they too had only winning in mind.
"River Hill has been running their mouths all year talking about how they're going to beat us, just like they do every year," said Vikings attackman Dan Selawski, who scored twice in the win. "We didn't play that well today, but there is still no better feeling than coming out and beating them on their own field."
If tempers were hot coming in, then the temperature may have made them even hotter. The two teams pushed and scraped their way to a 2-2 tie in a physical first period, but action cooled as players got bogged down by the heat with temperatures reaching the mid-80s at River Hill.
"I think everybody was a little intimidated by the heat," Selawski said. "Coach [Jeff Doolan] had us drinking water all last night, but it was tough. We're wearing black jerseys on the hottest day of the year so far, but that's no excuse for coming out flat like we did."
For all intents and purposes, the game really turned into a showdown between the county's two best goalies, Mount Hebron's Dan Valente and River Hill's Will Milton, who even traded verbal barbs as well. Valente, an all-county selection two years running, was his usual dominant self, stopping 16 shots. But Milton was arguably even better, turning back 20 of the Vikings' blasts and making several beautiful saves.
Yet, Mount Hebron, talented at every position, eventually wore down the Hawks by never letting up on offense. The Vikings took 37 shots to the Hawks' 16, outscoring River Hill 7-1 after the first period, including 4-0 in the third. Kurt Nordhoff and Mike Glancy each scored twice, and Nordhoff added two assists. Paul Minitoli scored twice for the Hawks, but it wasn't enough to stay close in the second half.
Despite the win, Doolan was less than pleased with the Vikings' effort. "We played very flat all day. We played without any intensity," he said. "Defensively, we played well in the second half and didn't give them anything, but we made them look great for a long time."
Said Gonsouland: "Give Mount Hebron credit, they played hard. They wore us down. It was just a good rivalry game."