Since losing in the Class 3A state final last year, Mount Hebron’s boys lacrosse team has been focus this season on getting another opportunity. The Vikings took another step in that goal Wednesday.
The Vikings defeated host Catonsville, 10-5, in a Class 3A state quarterfinal match in Baltimore County. Senior midfielder Keegan Ryan finished with six goals and two assists for the Vikings.
The Howard County school (12-6 overall), seeded No. 5 in the 3A elite eight field used patience, constant ball moment and controlled faceoffs to advance to its second straight state semifinal. The Vikings will play Frederick County’s Linganore, Saturday at noon at Paint Branch in Montgomery County.
Mount Hebron defeated Linganore nearly a year ago in the 3A state final four in sweltering conditions at Crofton. The Vikings lost to Severna Park in the championship match at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.
Mount Hebron is a win away from a return trip to the “RAC” after controlling No. 4 seed and last year’s 3A state semifinalist Catonsville.
“[We kept] possession of the ball, shared the ball and wore them down until we got a good shot… We werent taking bad shots, we were making good decisions,” Vikings coach Mike McCarthy said. “My kids locked in and worked their butts off for the last month-and-half, two months to really get better defensively.”
Mount Hebron never trailed as Ryan scored inside the first two minutes, followed by another score less than 50 seconds later. Catonsville answered when Nathan Wess, off a feed from Noah Kennedy, scored.
Mount Hebron answered with goals from Cooper Stockenberg and Kyle Ratta for a 4-1 first quarter cushion. Ryan found the back of the net twice in the final 2:30 of the half as the Vikings extended their lead to 7-2.
Down 8-2, Catonsville (10-6) made things interesting. Goals from Toby Eveleth, Kennedy and John Gorski trimmed the deficit to 8-5, but Ryan capped his big evening with his sixth goal with 2:03 left in regulation, followed by Maverick Smith’s empty-netter.
Catonsville coach K.R. Schultz, whose team reached the 3A state semis last year and the 4A final in 2021, said his team dugged too big of a hole to work out.
“We didn’t make the final push; just needed to start earlier,” Schultz said. “This whole team — super proud of them. It’s a really good group of guys and we tell them ‘it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.’ And it’s been a great journey. It’s been a lot of fun.”