The Mt. Hebron boys’ soccer team — this year’s County Champions — earned a first round playoff bye after a 3-0 win against Wilde Lake on Oct. 17. The Vikings won the County title and will host their first playoff game on Nov. 1 against the winner of Glenelg vs. Wilde Lake. For the last four years, the Vikings have lost in the playoffs on penalty kicks.
Sophomore varsity soccer player Josh Kweon said, “We’ve been practicing penalty kicks a lot in practice, so if it comes down to it, I believe we can win Regionals and States.”
The game against Wilde Lake that cemented the team as County Champions also had a scary moment. While the Vikings led 2-0 over Wilde Lake in the second half, Wilde Lake’s goalie went for a save but had too much momentum and followed through into Mt. Hebron sophomore Sebastian Tobar’s eye. The cheering went silent as the game stopped and an ambulance was called.
After the game, Tobar’s teammates visited him in the hospital. Tobar was fortunate enough to come out of the incident with only a minor concussion and a black eye.
This season has not been an easy one for the Vikings. The first game was a disappointment, with the boys losing to Reservoir even though they had defeated the Gators 7-0 last year.
“We had a mindset that we were better and didn’t need to work hard, and we ended up losing. Fortunately, we bounced back and haven’t lost since,” said junior varsity soccer player Jack Purnell.
After Mt. Hebron’s first and only loss in regular season, Coach Mike Linsenmeyer was struck by a car while biking with his youngest son, and both had to be hospitalized. Assistant Coach Garrett Nichols stepped up and led the boys to a big victory in their next game over rival River Hill.
Boys’ soccer had three goals they wanted to achieve this year: to win Counties, to win Regionals, and to bring it all together to win States. After achieving their first goal, Mt. Hebron is well on their way to accomplishing what they have sought after all season.
The road to States will be hard fought, but with effort and determination boys’ soccer believes they can make it there.