By Carol Gralia, firstname.lastname@example.org
7:36 PM EDT, April 29, 2012
After 15 years of mostly lopsided losses to Glenelg, Howard had plenty to be excited about Friday night. The Lions spoiled Glenelg's Senior Night with a 14-12 victory.
"I am so proud of my team," said Howard coach Alleesha Davidson.
"As a senior it means everything to finally come through as a team and pull out something we knew we'd had in our team all four years," said Howard's Nicole Snyder. "This is a big morale boost."
While Megan Flock had five goals and Snyder and Kristen Woolschlager each added four, the difference in the game was goalkeeper Rachael Donovan, who made 13 saves, including 11 in the second half.
Donovan doesn't restrict herself to the goal circle, and often played as an added field defender, intercepting passes or stepping out to block the Glenelg shooter as she was releasing her shot.
"I do tend to play really aggressive. I like to come out and help the defense when they need it. It definitely brings a factor of surprise to the attack and throws them off a little bit," she said.
"I've know Rachael since she's been a freshman and I've coached her for a long time and that's probably the best game I've ever seen her play," said Davidson. "She was totally aggressive and just right there when you needed her. She was really a major part of the win."
In addition to Donovan's play, Howard had an advantage in the midfield, particularly when Charlotte Wilkinson was taking the draw.
Wilkinson just started taking the draw seven games ago, but with her quickness and reach she often ended up getting draw possession.
Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said draw possession has been an issue for her team, which is not all that tall, and not coming up with the draw "means we have to rely on a defensive stop to start our offense."
The victory moves Howard to 7-5 overall, but four of the losses have been by two goals or less.
"I kept telling them that if they believe in themselves as a team it is going to come together and we are going to knock someone off," Davidson said. "I told them that losing by one or two goals may seem like a loss but we are building a better program and we are getting better."
Maribeth Blonchek had five of Glenelg's goals and Stephanie Asher had four. The Gladiators are now 8-4 overall. They are tied for tied with Centennial for fourth in the county standings. Each team has three county losses. Marriotts Ridge (9-0), Mt. Hebron (8-1) and Atholton (7-2) are the top three teams in the standings.
Howard 14, Glenelg 12
Goals: Ho -Flock 5, Snyder 4, Woolschlager 4, Groft. G - Blonchek 5, Asher 4, Guthrie, Vandewall, Russo.
Assists: Ho - Flock, Snyder. G - Russo 2, Guthrie.
Saves: Ho - Donovan 13. G - Taylor 9. Halftime: Howard, 8-7.
Chapelgate 12, Baltimore Lutheran 11
Emma Rufolo had four goals and Sydney Ackman and Amy Tragesar each added three as Chapelgate edged Baltimore Lutheran. Valerie Fuller scored a game-high five goals in a losing effort. It was the Yellowjackets' second one-goal game of the season.
Chapelgate, now undefeated in 13 games, has the opportunity to finish an undefeated regular season on Monday when the Yellowjackets host St. Timothy's at 4 p.m.
Goals: CCA – Rufolo 4, S. Ackman 3, Tragesar 3, McNamara 2. BL – Fuller 5, Brown 3, Roros, Chamberlan, Moore.
Saves: CCA – Roberts 4, Wetzel 2. BL – not available.