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Marriott’s Ridge boys lacrosse defeats Mount Hebron on late goal

Marriott’s Ridge boys lacrosse defeats Mount Hebron on late goal

Marriotts Ridge boys lacrosse has been in this position before, hosting Route-99 rival Mt. Hebron in the regional play-offs.

The Vikings each ended their season each of the last two years. On Friday night, however, the second-ranked Mustangs decided winning the Class 3A South Region I semifinal was the only option.

In a see-saw battle with the score tied at 8, Marriotts Ridge goalie Ian Murphy stopped a Maverick Smith shot with 30 seconds left and handed the ball to defenseman Will Schade. Damage initially bobbled the feed, but then charged towards goal and found midfielder Cooper Ellis.

Ellis, playing the offense for the first time in his high school career, maneuvered with the presence of a veteran. He dodged with his face and broke through the defense, burying his first-ever goal with seven seconds left.

Aidan Ro won the ensuing faceoff and fired the 10th and final goal of the night just before the final buzzer, capping a thrilling 10-8 victory over No. 3 seed Mount Hebron.

“I saw Will come down the field with the ball and said, ‘This is my first time as a forward, I have to make a big play,’” Ellis said. “It was the best feeling I’ve ever had. It’s the first time I’ve been in this situation and I’ve grown up.”

Marriotts Ridge (9-5) travels to top seed Howard on Monday for the regional final after the Lions defeated Westminster 15-9 on Friday night.

Mount Hebron scored three straight goals late in the fourth quarter to tie the score. However, Marriotts Ridge’s confidence never wavered, starting with Murphy’s crucial save.

“The game before that I let in a goal that I probably shouldn’t have scored,” Murphy said. “I said, ‘I have to go big, I owe that to my team.’ I saw Maverick coming down and said, ‘Cut the corner.’”

That stop set up the chaotic sequence to cap it off. Schade, who sprinted up the field into open space and Ellis scored the goal that sent the Mustangs bench and raucous student section into euphoria. In the final chapter of the Route-99 rivalry, the lasting image was Mustang sticks flying and a dog pile surrounding Murphy at midfield.

“We’ve been preparing for this all week and they stuck with it,” Marriotts Ridge coach Matthew Richter said. “My biggest concern was coming back from three down early in the game. I thought that put us in a hole and we had to come back and turn the second quarter on its head. I’m very happy with how the boys responded to everything. Responded to them tying it at the end. I’m very happy with our guys and our senior leadership. They didn’t give up, they persevered mentally and persevered on the field.”

The game didn’t start the way Marriotts Ridge had hoped. Mount Hebron senior forward Keegan Ryan dominated with a hat trick in the first six minutes. However, the Mustangs’ defense quickly recovered. They didn’t allow a goal for more than 20 minutes as the Vikings struggled to take care of the ball.

“You can’t turn the ball over,” Mount Hebron coach Mike McCarthy said. “It was our whole team. It was our offense, defense, role players, best players. We haven’t put ourselves in a position to be successful. Marriotts Ridge took advantage of a lot of the mistakes we made and they were the better team.”

The Marriotts Ridge attack found its way during that time. The Mustangs scored six straight goals from midway through the first through the early stages of the third.

“This is such a team game. We all played like it was the last game of our careers, which it could have been for us seniors,” Schade said of the defense.

Mount Hebron (8-7) ended its long drought, scoring two goals early in the third to pull within one. Still, the Mustangs answered back with two goals of their own, pushing the lead to three. Boston Brown finished inside as Christian Luke buried his second goal of the match after a Mount Hebron failed clear.

Marriotts Ridge- 1 3 3 3 10

Mount Hebron- 3 0 2 3 8

Goals: MR-Cooper Ellis 2, Mason Machiran 2, Christian Luke 2, Quinn Jenkins, Mike Machiran, Boston Brown, Aidan Ro; MH- Keegan Ryan 3, Maverick Smith 2, Tyler Tangires, Will Kettering, Doug Cohen. Assists: MR-Christian Luke, Mike Machiran, Boston Brown, Quinn Jenkins; MH- Maverick Smith 3, Will Kettering 1. Saves: MR Ian Murphy 10; MH- Luca LeClaire 9.