After 60 consecutive wins against county opponents in regular and postseason play since 2009, the Glenelg boys lacrosse team dropped its opener to Centennial Monday, 9-6, at Western Regional Park.
Quinn Western scored two goals within the first two minutes of the contest, and tacked on another score and two assists for the Eagles in the historic Howard County victory.
“It’s something that we’ve worked very hard for, for a long time,” said Kellinger, whose team fell to Glenelg by one goal in each of the past two seasons. “They are the class of the county. But, at the end of the day, I told these guys that no team had won any games yet this year. It’s the start of a new season.”
From Austin Kraisser’s dominance at the faceoff position, to the defensive tact throughout the game, Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker said Centennial (1-0) just outplayed his team overall.
“They played with more energy,” said the nine-year coach. “That’s on me. I don’t think our kids were as prepared as they should be.”
The opening minutes of Centennial’s 2014 season were filled with precision and a high-tempo style of play. Western’s two goals came within one minute of each other, digging a hole that the Gladiators (0-1) would fight to climb out of for the entirety of the first half.
“Quinn is just an incredibly dynamic player,” said Kellinger. “There’s just so much that kid can do.”
Glenelg finally got on the board inside the four-minute mark of the first quarter, when Nick Forrest found Luke Cheswick for the Gladiators’ first goal of the season.
Still, early in the second frame, Centennial held on to its dominance. Before scoring for the third time of the afternoon, Western hit Noah Taylor, who then sent a bouncer into the goal – all in the first minute of the quarter.
With nine minutes left before the half, Glenelg started to mount a comeback, with Jeremy Rigali, Kevin Wynne and Kevin Coppinger all scoring before intermission.
Centennial’s Andrew Gavlin finally stopped the bleeding with his goal 29 seconds before the horn, making it 5-4 at the break.
Despite allowing the three goals, Western said his team’s resolve wasn’t compromised.
“At halftime, coach just told us that we had to keep our heads up and keep doing what we’ve been doing,” he said.
In the second half, Centennial out-scored the Gladiators, 4-2, with Mike Moore, John Kolp (2) and Gavlin all recording goals.
Wynne and Forrest each collected scores in the second half for Glenelg.
Landry Marshall had four saves in the net for the Gladiators, while Centennial’s Dan Pomeranz stopped eight shots in what his coach called “the game of his life.”
After the final whistle sounded, and the Eagles celebrated what hadn’t been accomplished in six years, Kellinger and Western said the team isn’t loosing sight of the challenges ahead.
“This is just one win. We’re not guaranteed anything by beating Glenelg,” said Western. “But, it’s still a big one. And it feels good.”
For Glenelg, Hatmaker said it’s about changing the way his team approaches practice and game time preparation. The coach said, mentally, his team just has to be better.
“We’ll get them more motivated and more focused. It’s just tough,” he added. “You don’t take any good things out of this…(except) what not to do.”
Centennial 9, Glenelg 6
Goals: C – Quinn Western (3), Andrew Gavlin (2), John Kolp (2), Mike Moore, Noah Taylor; G – Kevin Wynne (2), Luke Cheswick, Kevin Coppinger, Jeremy Rigali, Nick Forrest.
Assists: C – Western (2), Gavlin, Moore and Taylor; G – Forrest (2), Tommy Chaisson, Tyler Wasson, Cheswick.
Half: 5-4, Eagles.
Around the county
Howard 16, South Carroll 3
Goals: H – Cody Ford (5), Scott Bruner (3), Brad Zulick (3), Erich Schroeder (2), John Travisano (2), Nolan Nunnigan.
Assists: H – Leo Sementilli (3), Bruner, Travisano, Ryan Land and Clay Rund.
Howard saves: Mauser: 7, Overstreet 1.
Wilde Lake 14, Aberdeen 4
Goals: WL – Lowe (6), Chu (4), Quinn, Tiffey, Radcliffe, Sundram.
Assists: WL – Tiffey 4, Radcliffe, Dickerson, Lowe, Swanson.
Saves: WL – Boccher 20.