By: Cooper Baer
On Tuesday, Nov. 2, the Mt. Hebron Vikings girls soccer team took on the Marriotts Ridge Mustangs for the Maryland 3A west regional championship.
The Mustangs, who were the defending county champions, had taken down Mt. Hebron earlier in the season, and were looking to threaten the Vikings’ playoff hopes. “They beat us earlier this year so we knew it would be a tough game,” sophomore forward Sinclaire Green said.
The Vikings would go into the game with a chip on their shoulder. They had been previously beaten via a self-inflicted own-goal with six minutes left in the game.
Going into the regional championship, the Vikings planned to let their defense take charge and try to find a way to score. After a hard fought first half, the score was still locked at zero thanks to a stellar Mt. Hebron defense.
“Our defense really stepped up, we were trying to force the ball too much, our captains did a great job at keeping us together as a team,” said Green.
The Mustangs explosive offensive duo Megan Wagner and Giavanna Liberto were shutout by the Vikings. The duo, responsible for the majority of Marriotts Ridge’s goals this season, had only been shut out two times all season while boasting a 14-1-1 record.
Early into the second half, sophomore Iva Damyanova scored the go-ahead goal to put the Vikings up 1-0. Senior captain Ana Hoover stated, “Iva worked really hard for that goal, it was great to see her step up.”
Holding the Mustangs off for the final 23 minutes of play, the stingy Vikings defense rallied together to secure the win.
With the regional championship secured and Crofton high school defeated in the state Quarterfinals, the Vikings had a tough opponent – the Oakdale Bears. However, with two minutes to go in the first half, sophomore Sinclaire Green scored to cement the Girls’ tickets to the state championship. In accordance with the Vikings’ play style all season, the defense held down the final half, holding the Bears to zero goals and elimination from the Maryland 3A state tournament.