Superlatives are easy to pass around, especially in sports – where everyone strives to be the biggest, the fastest or the best. These superlatives are generally tags given to individuals, though.
But once in every long while there comes a team that is a must see — even if the sport is field hockey.
There are four games left in the regular season so time is running out to see the best team Howard County has ever produced — the 2011 Glenelg field hockey team.
“We have the ability to be scary good,” said coach Ginger Kincaid during an interview for the field hockey preview.
In her decades of playing and coaching Kincaid knows a thing or two about field hockey talent, and she’s right-on about her squad.
Thanks to improved fields and out-of-season opportunities to play, this isn’t a hit-and-hope, pass-and-pray hockey team of days gone by.
This year’s squad is a step more advanced, and more mature, than last year’s Class 2A state championship squad, which lost just one game, and that was in overtime.
As she has been since her freshman year, senior Alyssa Parker is the team’s catalyst.
I’ll go out on a limb, I’d even stand at the end of a flimsy branch, to say that she is the best high school field hockey player I have ever seen. She has more than outstanding stick skills, she brings undeniable athleticism and competitiveness, but she’s unselfish. Parker is willing to pass up a shot to see that a teammate gets the opportunity to score.
The national champion University of Maryland must think she’s special, too. The Terps offered Parker a full scholarship last year when she was a junior. She accepted.
Parker isn’t the whole show. Midfielder Mary Kate Olson may be the best pure hockey player on the team, The forward line M’s— Meagan Guthrie, Meghan Milani and Megan Taylor — have been scoring in bunches recently. Danielle Baker and Stephanie Asher have also put in goals or assisted someone else.
Morgan Philie, Emily Russo, Maribeth Blonchek and Kendall Lutts make it difficult for opposing teams to even reach goalkeeper Amanda Hoyt. The team has seven shutouts.
Glenelg has depth, in players that I haven’t mentioned, and a bull’s-eye on its back. The team is ranked No. 1 by the Baltimore Sun, deservedly so. The Gladiators (10-0 entering the week) are on a 27-game win streak.
Glenelg’s remaining regular season games are:
Tuesday, Oct. 11 - Atholton at Glenelg, 3:30
Friday, Oct. 14 - Glenelg at Mt. Hebron, 3:30
Tuesday, Oct. 18 - Glenelg at Howard, 3:30
Wed. Oct. 19 - Towson at Glenelg, 3:30
Admission is free.
Don’t miss an opportunity to see one terrific team.