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Vikings vying for victory in state final

Mount Hebron faces Severna Park in 3A boys lacrosse state championship game
Keegan Ryan
Posted at 6:23 PM, May 23, 2022

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — It is the top tally of Keegan Ryan’s lacrosse career. It is the one that sent his team to the state championship.

"It’s the biggest goal of my life, It was an indescribable feeling," said the Mt. Hebron High School attacker. "It just doesn’t get bigger than that."

The sophomore scored just 22 seconds into overtime to clinch Mt. Hebron’s 6-5 3A state semifinal win over Linganore on Saturday. He took a pass from senior Gavin Fleck and converted.

"I think I was definitely in the right place at the right time. But, it was definitely planned. We do that stuff in practice all the time," said Ryan. "It’s just huge though. It’s just huge."

"I was just happy," said Fleck. "[I] went over, gave Keegan a big old hug. That’s all I could think of at the moment."

Hebron goalie Everett Armstead made a big save late in regulation to help send the game into overtime.

"I actually got pretty emotional. I did get teary-eyed," he said of his reaction after the O.T. winner. "We’re going to states. It was the happiest I’ve ever been."

The second-seeded Vikings (17-1) now play in the state final for the first time since 2016. They are looking to win it all for the first time since 2006. Senior defender Aaron Krafft said it is where his team is supposed to be.

"It’s amazing. We all have that heart. You can see it in our celebration when we celebrate, our passion for the game. It’s what we worked for. We deserve it."

Standing between Hebron and history is No. 4 seed Severna Park. They are the five-time defending 4A champs and now play in the 3A classification.

"Great tradition in Severna Park," said Mt. Hebron head coach Mike McCarthy. "Great lacrosse team, good coaching. Our kids will be ready to play."

"I think we just need to basically not care who they are," added Mt. Hebron midfielder Nick Machiran. "I think if we just play our game it doesn’t matter. We’ll get that win either way."

Opening face-off between the Vikings and Falcons in the 3A state final is set for Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook