The Glenelg boys lacrosse team has been plagued this spring by starting games off slowly. But once the Gladiators settle in, they have been nearly unbeatable.
Glenelg spotted Howard the first three goals of the game before rattling off six unanswered to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Seven different players scored for the Gladiators in a gritty 13-8 victory over the visiting Lions.
Senior midfielder Mark Darden scored four of his game-high five goals in the second half and junior attack Nick Forrest battled a cold with a three-goal, two-assist performance.
“Once we got focused and got our heads in the game, we did what we had to do,” Darden said. “We couldn’t get possession in the first quarter but we did a better job in the second and started finishing shots.”
Glenelg improves to 9-2 overall and 8-0 in the county, further distancing itself from the pack. The Gladiators are in sole possession of first place with a one game lead – and tiebreaker – over Centennial.
The win also extended the team’s county unbeaten streak to 54 consecutive games dating back to 2009.
Howard (9-2, 6-2) got off to a blazing start. John Travisano scored an extra-man goal, Scott Bruner fired in a laser and Nick Striebich added another man-up score to give the Lions a 3-0 lead.
The Gladiators didn’t get on the board until the 1:30 mark of the first quarter when Darden finished an extra-man opportunity. But after that goal, the momentum swung in their favor.
Christian Salandra faked a pass and got Howard goalie Ben Judy (12 saves) out of position to tie the score at 3-3 early in the second quarter. Forrest added back-to-back scores, then long pole defender Drew Dziwulski scooped up a groundball and raced to the cage as Glenelg took a 6-4 lead into halftime.
“I can’t complain about our start but all along we knew that Glenelg was very good,” Howard coach Jimmy Creighton said. “We knew they were going to make a run at some point. I wish we could limited their run in the second quarter with that big six goal run. That definitely set us back.”
The Gladiator offense continued to click on all cylinders in the third quarter thanks to a pair of goals by Darden and consistent possession of the ball from faceoff specialist Anthony Pagnotta.
The lead swelled to as many as seven in the second half and goalie Landry Marshall protected the margin with 12 saves.
“Howard has a lot of shooters and coming in I knew Pagnotta would be huge for us,” Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker said. “They can’t shoot if they don’t have the ball. Landry worked hard in film and had them scouted pretty well.”
Travisano, Cody Ford and John Keohane all finished with two goals for the Lions.
“Something that we preach all the time is there is no quit,” Creighton said. “The guys kept fighting and we appreciate that. Glenelg hasn’t lost a county game in a few years for a reason. They are a good team and they took advantage of every opportunity that had today.”
Glenelg 13, Howard 8
Ho 3 1 2 2 -- 8
G 1 5 4 3 -- 13
Goals: Ho – Travisano 2, Ford 2, Keohane 2, Bruner, Striebich; G – Darden 5, Forrest 3, Salandra, Dziwulski, Marcoux, Chaisson, Wasson.
Assists: Ho – Bruner 2, Ford, Zulick, Striebich; G – Forrest 2, Wasson, Salandra, Cheswick.
Saves: Ho – Judy 12; G – Marshall 12.
Halftime: Glenelg, 6-4.
Reservoir 13, Oakland Mills 2 (Wednesday’s result)
Goals: Re – A. Marsh 3, A. Mitchell 2, Olenick 2, Wicklein 2, Kevin, Evans, Schuster, M. Marsh; OM – Farrall, Brumbaugh.
Assists: Re – A. Mitchell 2, Wicklein 2, A. Marsh, Olenick; OM – Caldwell.
Saves: Re – Teodori 4, Taylor 7; OM – Andrews 6, Ketchum 10, Dudek.
Halftime: Reservoir, 7-1.