Mount Hebron senior defender Mark White said the pressure almost got to him in a soccer game against Atholton last week. He took a penalty kick early in the second half, fired to his favorite spot -- the lower-left corner -- and the goalkeeper guessed correctly.
The shot bounced off the keeper's chest back to White, who kicked it in for the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over the sixth-ranked Raiders on Saturday.
White's second goal of the season -- he made a penalty kick in a victory over South River last month -- allowed the ninth-ranked Vikings (6-1 overall, 3-0 league) to enter the week as the only county team undefeated in league play.
"I like the pressure," White said. "I guess the pressure did get to me, kind of, but I was fortunate enough that I still scored. This was a big win for us because now we're in the driver's seat for the county title."
Junior forward Jon Beltran gave Atholton a 1-0 lead early in the first half, and the Vikings pulled even about five minutes later when Mike Napolitano headed in a long throw-in by junior midfielder Zach Barnett. Midway through the second half, Mount Hebron senior midfielder Pat Kenney delivered a long pass to freshman forward Garrett Nickles, who was tripped in the penalty box, resulting in a penalty kick.
"This was a big win for us because we proved we could beat a good team," Barnett said.
Wellde Takes Third
Centennial sophomore Chris Wellde shot a 6-over-par 148 to place third in the 13- to 15 year-old division of the International Junior Golf Tour's tournament at the Hershey Golf Club in Pennsylvania last month.
"I wanted to win, but finishing in the top three is acceptable," Wellde said. "It was the biggest tournament that I ever played in, and I still had an opportunity to win it if I would have made some better shots at the end."
After shooting a 5 over par in the opening round, Wellde entered the final four holes 2 under par for the tournament but then had two double bogeys and two bogeys.
Robert Galbreath of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., won the event with a 2-under-par 140, and Anthony Aloi of Plainsboro, N.J., took second in the field of 27 with a 4-over-par 146.
Two Select Colleges
Mount Hebron senior attacker Lauren Sterner and Atholton senior attackman Dean Hart Jr. orally committed to play lacrosse at Ohio State and Maryland, respectively.
Sterner, who posted 17 goals to help lead the top-ranked Vikings (19-0) to the Maryland 3A/2A title last spring, chose the Buckeyes over Virginia Tech.
"It was a very tough choice, but Ohio State was a bigger school, and I liked the girls a little more and it has a better business school," Sterner said. "I want to major in business, so that was the biggest factor."
Hart's decision to attend Maryland was easier. His father, Robert Dean Hart, was a reserve on the school's basketball team in 1978, and grandfather Tom Cosgrove was an all-American center for the football team in 1952 and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame last month.
"It was the natural choice because it means a lot to me that I'm going to continue my family's tradition at Maryland," said Hart, who posted 34 goals and 29 assists last spring. "It's also a big relief that I don't have to worry about where I'm going to go to college anymore and I can just focus on the season."
Game of the Week
Hammond hosts Atholton at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow in a boys' soccer game featuring two of the county's top teams.
Hammond (2-1-4 overall, 2-1 league) and Atholton (3-2-1, 1-1-1) entered the week behind first-place Mount Hebron (6-1, 3-0).
Hammond is led by senior midfielder Mostafa Ebrahimnejad, who has five goals and three assists. Atholton is led by junior forward Jon Beltran (three goals) and senior midfielder Grayson Schmelzer (two goals, four assists).
The Raiders defeated the Golden Bears, 4-0, during the regular season and beat them, 1-0, in double-overtime in the quarterfinals of the 2A South Region tournament last year, which propelled them to their first state title in 14 years.
"We don't expect anything different this year because I'm sure we will see them again," Atholton Coach Roch DeFrances said. "Every time we play them, Hammond is very tough, and we are cautious of them."
Hammond players said they are motivated by last year's losses.
"There is no doubt in my mind, or in anyone else on our team's mind that if we would have beaten them the second time, we would have gone on to win the state title," said Hammond junior midfielder Vince Taweel. "I think this is the biggest game of the year for us."