Catonsville took away Mount Hebron's dangerous transition attack, but the top-ranked Vikings made the necessary adjustments for a 14-3 victory in yesterday's Class 3A-2A girls lacrosse state semifinals at CCBC-Catonsville.
Mount Hebron (16-1-1) will play South River (15-3) at 4 p.m. Tuesday at UMBC for the state championship. The Vikings have won eight state titles in the past nine seasons and four in a row.
The Comets (11-3) kept four defenders around the arc when their offense had the ball. That gave Mount Hebron easy clears and a wide-open midfield, but it forced the Vikings to run a deliberate attack.
"We couldn't do fast breaks because they were waiting for us," said Mount Hebron's Kristen Waagbo, who finished with three goals and three assists.
"If we had played them straight up, they would have scored 28 to 30 goals," said Catonsville coach Jill Altshuler. "I think holding Hebron to 14 is an accomplishment because they are so fast, athletic and deep."
Mount Hebron had not been held to 14 goals by a public school since Hammond did so on April 11 of last season - a span of 26 games.
It took Mount Hebron roughly 15 minutes to adjust to a defense it had not seen this season. The Vikings led 6-0 at halftime, then turned things up a little in the second half.
"We played much smarter in the second half," said Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson. "We ran our offense better and didn't turn over the ball as much."
Mount Hebron's defense concentrated on stopping sophomore Becky Clipp, who came into the game with 61 goals, and it did. Clipp scored the Comets' first goal, with 20:29 left in the game, but that was it.
"It's frustrating," Clipp said. "They did what they were supposed to do. I had three girls on me every time I had the ball."
Stephanie Scurachio added three goals and two assists for Mount Hebron, which started only one senior. Melissa McCarthy and Lindsay Dutch each had two goals.
Goals: C - Clipp, Brushe, Cunniff; MH - Waagbo, 3, Scurachio 3, McCarthy 2, L. Dutch 2, Bosica, Laws, Ch. Nicolaus, Long. Assists: MH - Waagbo 3, McCarthy 2, Scurachio. Saves: C - Wheeler 5; MH - Ci. Nicolaus 6. Half: MH, 6-0.