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.
“She came over to our bench after the game. … She was fighting back tears as she told our team how well they played. It was really nice what she said.”
Long Reach 7, Wilde Lake 5
Goals: LR – Sadie McClelland 3, Jess Bates 3, Eryn Malone. WL - Woudese Befikadu 3, Lauren Comeaux, Bridget Cavanaugh.
Assists: LR - Lillie Miller, Patricia Anderson. WL - Bridget Cavanaugh.
Saves: LR – Nicole Cote 6. WL – Paige Boyer 25.
Halftime: Long Reach, 3-2.
Class 3A East (Section II)
Mt. Hebron scored three times to defeat Westminster, 3-1. All of the Vikings’ goals came on corners and were assisted.
It wasn’t the Vikings’ best game of the season, but it was good enough to put them in the regional final.
Mt. Hebron, co-county champions with Glenelg, spent most of the first half chasing down the quicker Westminster players. Viking goalie Chachi Kelehan made a phenomenal save in the first half to keep the Owls from scoring.
“That would have been the first goal (of the game) and that could have swung the game,” said Mt. Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland.
Westminster brought the ball up the side of the field and passed it low along the endline. The Owls’ wing was coming in for the tip, but Kelehan ran to the post to make the save.
Mt. Hebron was awarded back-to-back offensive corners with about five minutes left in the first half. Ally Unkenholz scored off an assist from Monica Linn on the second one.
Hannah Scheid converted a pass from Tianna Wallpher 10 minutes into the second half for a 2-0 Mt. Hebron lead.
Soon after, Kelehan made a stunning glove save on a high shot that turn back Westminster again.
Sophie DeFeo’s goal kept the Owls’ hopes alive, but Molly Bishop gave her team some breathing room when she scored off a pass from Unkenholz.
Mt. Hebron will play at Annapolis at 5:30 on Wednesday.
Mt. Hebron 3, Westminster 1
Goals: MH – Ally Unkenholz, Hannah Scheid, Molly Bishop. W – Sophia DeFeo.
Assists: MH – Monica Linn, Tianna Wallpher, Ally Unkenholz.
Saves: MH – Chachi Kelehan 6. W – Hailey Poisal 6.
Halftime: Mt. Hebron, 1-0.
Class 4A North (Section II)
Howard battled Old Mill through regulation and two sudden-victory overtime periods, but neither team could score so the game went to strokes. Old Mill converted four of its strokes; Howard just two.
“It was an awesome game. It went back and forth,” said Howard coach Kristen Vance. “We had several opportunities but just couldn’t finish.”
Both overtimes were “fantastic” she said. “We had several corners in both overtimes but couldn’t put the ball in.”
“The game could have gone either way,” Vance added. “It was a heartbreaker, for sure.”
In strokes, teams alternate shooters.
Annette Jarosz and Emily Penn scored on their strokes and Allison Jakubek stopped an Old Mill stroke.
IAAM B Conference
For the second time this season, Glenelg Country School lost to host Seton Keough, 1-0.
“We’ve lost, 1-0, at Seton Keough more times than I care to think about,” said Glenelg Country School coach Jessica McAdams.
The Gators took advantage of their challenging field and caught the Dragons off guard with a quick transition restart in their offensive end, scoring with 10 seconds left in the first half.
“My defenders weren’t ready and two quick touches and the ball was in,” McAdams said.
The Dragons had chances, but couldn’t put the ball across the goal line.
“Alyssa Arnold had a couple of chances with 1v1s but we weren’t able to finish,” McAdams said.
The Dragons played a strong defensive game. Keeper Kelly Johnson finished with nine saves and defender Mallory Pappas added strong play.
“This is the best we have adjusted to their (grass) field,” McAdams said. “But it’s the playoffs and you’ve got to score. …We had a talented group this year but they just weren’t able to win the games we needed to win. We had three one-goal losses earlier in the year and that made the difference” in the Dragons being seeded sixth in the playoffs.
McAdams complimented her seniors on setting a good example for the team. “They put in play a lot of things for the program to follow in the future.”
Seton Keough 1, Glenelg Country 0
Goals: SK –Yancy. GCS – none.
Assists: SK - Zaleski.
Saves: SK – name not available 9. GCS – Kelly Johnson 9