Three Howard County field hockey teams extended their seasons with playoff wins on Monday, and the county is guaranteed to have one — Glenelg or Long Reach — advance to the Class 2A state semifinals.
There is the possibility of a second team should Mt. Hebron win its Class 3A regional final.
Class 2A East (Section I)
In early September, Marriotts Ridge gave Glenelg its first regular season county loss in six years. On Monday, the Gladiators got revenge by ending the Mustangs’ season, 4-2, to advance to the regional final.
Marriotts Ridge concentrated on stopping Glenelg forward Stephanie Asher, but that merely freed forward Megan Taylor to score three goals.
The Mustangs rotated a trio of defenders on Asher, yet she still managed to score one goal.
“Stef’s goal was a nice deflection goal,” said Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid. Adding, “Megan had an unreal game.”
“Megan’s extremely fast and she was able to get around our defense,” said Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado.
Glenelg scored first but Marriotts Ridge’s Lexi Souder answered for a 1-1 halftime tie.
“Our forwards had some awesome runs getting the ball up to the circle, but when Glenelg’s defense got it out, we couldn’t get the ball back into the circle,” Gado explained.
Glenelg, the co-county champion, bumped the score up to 3-1 before Jasmine Williams put Marriotts Ridge (13-3) on the scoreboard again.
“I’m really proud of how tough the girls played the whole game. Being down, 1-0, they didn’t put their heads down. Even being scored on again, I would say that this was the best that they’ve played all season,” Gado said. “It was a very competitive game.”
Glenelg (14-2) has played in the regional final every year since 2001. The Gladiators host Long Reach at 3:30 on Wednesday.
Glenelg 4, Marriotts Ridge 2
Goals: G – Megan Taylor 3, Stephanie Asher. MR – Lexi Souder, Jasmine Williams.
Assists: G – Lauren Pelkey 2. MR – Julia Miller.
Saves: G – Amanda Hoyt 3. MR – Sophia Hamilton 6.
Halftime: tied, 1-1.
Class 2A East (Section II)
Stress and chewed fingernails marked the Long Reach-Wilde Lake sectional final, which Long Reach won, 7-5.
“It was such a back-and-forth game,” said Long Reach coach Rashmi Bhanot. “Wilde Lake took advantage of our mistakes, which led to fast breaks and resulted in goals. …Thankfully, we managed to knock in seven."
Wilde Lake’s five goals is a season high for the Wildecats, which didn’t win their first game of the season until the playoffs began.
Sadie McClelland and Jess Bates each had three goals for Long Reach. Lillie Miller and Patricia Anderson helped with the midfield transition.
Wilde Lake’s Lauren Comeaux scored the first goal of the game. After that, the score seemed to see-saw. It was tied, 5-5, with 10:15 remaining, but Bates put in the last two goals for a Lightning victory.
Bridget Cavanaugh (goal, assist) and Woudese Befikadu (three goals) paced the Wilde Lake offense.
Marissa Sciabarra, Sam Rangos (two) and Kirsten Gutierrez (two) all had defensive saves for the Wildecats.
“No coach wants to end a season on a loss, but this was a game to be proud of,” said Wilde Lake coach Samantha McElvaney.
The Wilde Lake coach also commented on the good sportsmanship of Long Reach goalie Nicole Cote.