North Hagerstown's boys soccer team expected to learn a few things when it journeyed to Mount Hebron yesterday for its first regular-season Baltimore-area appearance.
Instead, it may have taught the Vikings a few things.
The Hubs won, 1-0, in the second minute of overtime, and both coaches agreed that the Washington County squad created much more of an attack than Mount Hebron, which had not allowed a goal in three previous games, all victories.
North Hagerstown (6-1), which lost to Hammond in the state playoffs last season, was averaging close to five goals per game. But with the exception of Williamsport, which beat them in a shootout, the Hubs were not playing top-flight competition.
The Hubs did learn that teams in this part of Maryland generally play a much more physical style of soccer than they are accustomed to in Washington County.
"This was our hardest contest ... and the most physical team we've played," said Hubs coach Glen Singer. "I was hoping for this kind of game. I'm happy they stayed in and fought hard."
He thought Mount Hebron was more aggressive and won more 50-50 balls than his team.
Mount Hebron coach Michael Linsenmeyer had a long list of his team's shortcomings.
"We mounted no offensive pressure, never held the ball, didn't execute on free kicks and didn't get any corners," he said. "We also got outworked in the first half, and that was a bad combination."
Mount Hebron momentarily created some offensive pressure in the second half, when Linsenmeyer switched from two to three forwards.
But North Hagerstown quickly adjusted and ended up outshooting the Vikings in each half. The Hubs had a 10-7 shooting advantage overall.
The only shot that counted was by Brandon Bell in the 82nd minute. Loosely guarded, he took a pass from teammate Ben McAbee on the right side of the 18-yard box and kicked a low shot to the far post that went in.
"Their goalkeeper [Chris Nemeh] was about 5 yards out and dove, but it skimmed the post and went in," Singer said. "The keeper didn't miss it by much. Their defense was very organized in the back."
Linsenmeyer praised his defense for showing heart.
"It was just the classic case of our team feeling too good about itself after beating a couple of Anne Arundel County teams over the weekend," Linsenmeyer said. The Vikings defeated Arundel, 3-0, and Old Mill, 4-0, at the Old Mill Tournament.