In a matchup of unbeaten squads, Glenelg issued a statement Wednesday. The Gladiators, on the road against Atholton, went ahead early and never looked back en route to a 6-2 victory. The decision puts Glenelg in the driver’s seat for this year’s county title.
“We were excited. This was a real good test. It was like going 0-60 all of a sudden,” Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said.
Glenelg scored first. At the 15-minute mark there was traffic in the circle and, after a defensive save by Atholton’s Sheila O’Malley, Glenelg’s Megan Taylor found Stephanie Asher to Glenelg on the board. A mere 44 seconds later, Taylor found Morgan Philie on a quick offensive transition to make it 2-0.
Ivy Meissner and Philie would combine to score two more, each assisting the other, to go into halftime with a decisive 4-0 lead.
Atholton fought back, though.
With 24:21 left in regulation, Atholton keeper Emily Clinch (13 saves) made a diving save. Four minutes later, after Glenelg's fifth goal courtesy of Stephanie Asher, Kelly McQuilkin put the Raiders on the board off of a corner.
Glenelg answered back, getting a quick response from Danielle Baker to make it 6-1. But again Atholton kept coming, with McQuilkin beating Glenelg goalie Amanda Hoyt (11 saves) on a penalty stroke.
“I’m happy with our perseverance,” Glenelg’s Emily Russo said. “I think down the stretch it got tough because they are a really competitive team and we were both undefeated.”
That’s as close as Atholton would get, however. Despite a 12-9 advantage in penalty corners and an 18-10 advantage in shots, the Raiders suffered their first county loss.
“We stuck together as a team,” McQuilkin said. “We need to use this game as motivation to get better and work on finishing every time we are in the circle. We had the ball so many times and had so many opportunities. We just have got to get it in there. “
Coach Martie Dyer was also pleased. “I thought we played well, but we got outscored,” she said. “We were missing our playmaker [Jen Bleakney], but other girls stepped up and I thought our team played very well.”
On the other side, Kincaid credited Rachel Lee, Kendall Lutts and Maribeth Blonchek for stepping up defensively. “We are used to being on the offensive end,” Kincaid said. “This was a real test for the defense.”
The Gladiators are now two games away from their sixth straight undefeated county season.
Glenelg 6, Atholton 2
Goals: G: Asher 2, Philie 2, Meissner, Baker; A: McQuilkin 2.
Assists: G: Meissner 2, Taylor 2, Philie.
Saves: G: Hoyt 11; A: Clinch 13.
Half: 4-0 G.
Around the league:
Reservoir 6, Hammond 0