When the public address announcer at Severna Park introduced Mount Hebron forward Mike Napolitano before yesterday's Class 3A East region semifinal, he casually threw in: "We understand he's a goal scorer."
Soon after that, the senior standout was providing proof, and the No. 3 Vikings then showed they have others who can score, too.
Napolitano scored his first of two goals just two minutes into the game and Aiden Hoolachan and Justin Martinelli also scored first-half goals as the Vikings advanced to the region title game with a comfortable 5-1 win over the No. 7 Falcons.
Mount Hebron (13-0-3) will host No. 5 Fallston for the region crown on Tuesday. The Falcons, whose goal came from junior forward Michael Rose, end their season with a 14-3 mark.
The Vikings relentlessly attacked with speed and skill from start to finish to overwhelm the host team. Napolitano set the tone, getting behind the Falcons' defense and burying a shot from 15 yards for the 1-0 lead that went up to 3-1 at the half.
"Every day at practice we just go out and work as hard as we can and then take that to the games and it just feels like we can't lose right now," said Napolitano, who has 22 goals on the season to go with 10 assists. "It feels good to be able to put the ball in the back of the net - just one guy can't do it and that's why I like the fact we have so many different guys that can score this season."
The Vikings will look for the same on Tuesday against a quality Fallston team.
"We just feel like if we play with energy, we should have all the confidence in the world to beat anyone. This is one of the toughest teams in the state and we were able to put up five on them, so we just keep getting more and more confident," said senior midfielder Zach Barnett, who provided stellar play in the middle along with two assists.
Pikesville 2, Brunswick 0 -- Gary Weisbaum and Sam Slax each had a goal and an assist to give the visiting Panthers (10-6) the win over the Railroaders (14-1-2) in the Class 1A South regional semifinals.
Greater Grace 4, Grace Brethren 3 -- Thomas Guarino had three goals and an assist to lead the Eagles (20-0) to the Maryland Christian Schools State Tournament title yesterday at Washington Bible College.
No. 9 Mount Hebron 2, No. 6 Severna Park 0 -- Set-piece goals from Kris Elliott and Emily Heimsoth in each half led the Vikings to the upset win over Severna Park. Mount Hebron improves to 13-2-1 and will now get a third chance at Howard County rival and No. 2 River Hill on Tuesday for the region crown. The Hawks have handed the Vikings their only two losses of the season, both by a goal. "Whenever we play them we don't seem to play the way we play," said Mount Hebron senior sweeper Kara Passarelli. "So I guess we'll just try to play our style of soccer and shut down their forwards and what not. Just playing with heart." Severna Park senior midfielder Samantha Young, Anne Arundel's Player of the Year the past two years, left the game late in the first half with a knee injury, ending her stellar four-year high school career. "I just told Sam that if I could I'd build a statue of her outside the stadium - that's how much she's meant to this program," said Severna Park coach Gary Lam.
No. 2 River Hill 6, Bel Air 0 -- Erika Theisen had a hat trick and added an assist to lead the host Hawks (17-0) past the Bobcats (10-5-2) in the Class 3A East regional semifinal.
South Carroll 2, North Hagerstown 1 -- Kristen Harris scored two goals in the second half as the visiting Cavaliers (10-5-1) handed the Hubs (15-1) their first loss of the season in the Class 2A West regional semifinal. Amanda Montemore had eight saves on nine shots in goal for South Carroll.firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff reports contributed to this article.