Vikings share streak mark at 103

The Baltimore Sun

Mount Hebron's No. 1 girls lacrosse team conducted business as usual last night.

Jackie Doherty scored five goals and Jill Rekart added four as the Vikings rolled to their 103rd straight victory, routing Conestoga (Pa.), 14-3, in the opening round of the 11th annual Mount Hebron Spring Lacrosse Tournament.

While winning has become the norm for the Vikings, this victory was different. It tied the girls lacrosse consecutive wins mark set in 1982 by Loch Raven, a streak believed to be a national record.

The Vikings celebrated a little, but not what you might expect for such a big win.

That seemed due in part to the lopsided score and the tough contest today at 1 p.m. with West Genesee (N.Y.), a 10-3 winner over No. 15 St. Mary's yesterday.

The Vikings need a victory today to break the record for consecutive wins and match Loch Raven's 104-game unbeaten streak.

"It's definitely been a big win for us, but it's something we can't really let go to our heads," Vikings defender Bria Eulitt said. "We really need to get over it, because [today's] going to be a very big day. It's definitely a big accomplishment. I mean, 103, that's a very big number. Definitely something to be proud of."

Today, the Vikings (6-0) face a team that has had a little taste of what they are going through. The Wildcats (5-0), from western New York, won 69 straight games from 2001 to 2004.

In yesterday's win over St. Mary's, eight Wildcats scored and the team showed off a double-teaming defense, somewhat akin to the Vikings'.

"They have good stick skills, they had a good game plan and they were well coached and they were fast and tall, so they've got a lot going for them," Doherty said. "It'll be a really tough game. They double [team] hard. I think we play similarly, so we'll have to bring our A game."

Last night, the Vikings certainly had their A game.

By the time Conestoga took its first shot, with 9:30 left in the first half, the Vikings led 6-0. Mount Hebron had a 12-0 lead five minutes into the second half.

"They're really quick moving the ball around the 8 [-meter arc] and finding the open player," Pioneers senior Logan McCraw said. "Their defense is really aggressive. They didn't let up at all with the double team and our girls just weren't finding the open player tonight."

The Pioneers (2-3) came to the Vikings' tournament last year but didn't get to play the home team because of heavy rain. After finishing as Lacrosse magazine's No. 5 team nationally last season, the Pioneers were looking forward to playing the Vikings, who have been No. 1 in the nation for five straight years.

McCraw said the Pioneers were hoping to end the streak, but she saw why it continued.

"It's just the little things, their catching and throwing that keeps them from turning it over and the quickness of their game," she said.

The Vikings will be out early today to prepare for West Genesee, which is likely the last threat to their streak until Moorestown (N.J.) comes to town May 5.

"It's a very big test," Eulitt said. "There's a little bit of pressure, but pressure is something that comes with Mount Hebron lacrosse. None of us want to be on the team that loses. It's so important to us to stay strong and play for the girls who came before us, because they worked so hard to get us where we are today. That 104 would not just be for us."

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