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With Howard County title on the line, Mt. Hebron and Glenelg boys soccer settle for scoreless tie in double overtime

In its bid to lock up the Howard County title Wednesday, the Mt. Hebron boys soccer team tried and tried some more to break through against visiting Glenelg in front of a big crowd on Senior Night.

Despite a persistent attack, particularly in the second half and 20 minutes of overtime, the Vikings’ offensive effort went for naught. The Gladiators’ defense simply didn’t budge as the teams settled on a 0-0 double overtime tie.

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With the tie, Mt. Hebron (9-1-1 county, 10-1-1 overall) clinched a share of the county championship, but that fact is bittersweet compared to the outright title the Vikings would have earned if they had beaten the Gladiators. That distinction is now left up to Centennial, which plays River Hill in its season finale on Saturday.

If Centennial (8-1-1) ties or loses to River Hill (8-2), Mt. Hebron will win the title outright. However, if Centennial beats River Hill, the Eagles and the Vikings will share the county championship. While Centennial defeated Mt. Hebron in their only matchup this season, Howard County doesn’t have tiebreakers for the crowning of county champions.

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On Wednesday, Mt. Hebron, which entered the contest on a nine-game winning streak, threw just about everything they had at the Gladiators defense — Lewis Hollander’s long throws, Jimmy Linsenmeyer’s corner kicks, a breakaway chance from Shalom Adja. The home team’s final chance came when Mark Adja got to a throw from Hollander in front of the net, but lofted a shot into the arms of Glenelg goalkeeper Katen Gulati for his seventh and final save.

“We did everything we wanted to do, we just didn’t put it in the back of the net and sometimes that happens,” Mt. Hebron coach Mike Linsenmeyer said. “It’s soccer and against a good team, I think it was a pretty fair result. It would have been nice to have put one in, but they had a couple chances, too.”

Glenelg, which also tied Centennial, finished the regular season with a 7-3-3 mark and 6-2-3 in the county. In addition to Gulati’s sound play in goal, senior center back Drew Fulton anchored the back line. Glenelg coach Joey Osborne believes the game’s intensity level and the team’s resilient result will bode well for the playoffs.

“We knew Mt. Hebron was going to keep coming and keep coming and it was one of those days of trying to bend and not break,” he said. “I thought we’ve really done a good job as the season has gone on of being much more solid in the back. We were really nervous about set pieces against them and I thought we held up really well. That was a huge, huge game for us to get ready for the playoffs.”

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After an evenly played first half, with much of Glenelg’s chances coming from the work of junior forward Siji Jolayemi, the Vikings pressed throughout the second half and two overtimes. Gulati’s biggest save came with 9:10 to play in regulation when Shalom Adja ran on to a through ball in stride, getting safely behind the defense before placing a firm shot from 12 yards that was turned away.

In the opening minute of the second overtime, Linsenmeyer, strong throughout in the middle of the field, hit a knuckling shot from 25 yards that Gulati tipped over the crossbar.

“They presented a lot of problems, their defense really stepped up and their goalie played out of his mind,” Mike Linsenmeyer said.

Centennial’s game at River Hill on Saturday starts at 4:30 p.m.

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