Julia Cargiulo could barely catch her breath in the first half of her team’s game against Glenelg field hockey on Wednesday afternoon.
Mt. Hebron’s goalkeeper had to maintain her focus as the Gladiators whipped the ball around the circle. They attempted to score against her 13 times before intermission, nine of which were on goal. In seven instances, she made the save.
Her effort, combined with a stingy defense and poor shot placement from Glenelg, kept the Vikings within a goal after the opening period. But as the Gladiators continued to dominate after halftime, they widened their advantage in an eventual 3-0 home victory. Sophomore Kathryn Hoffman scored twice while junior Katie Grimes added the final goal to help Glenelg bounce back from its 2-1 overtime defeat against Broadneck two days earlier.
“You always learn from a loss,” Gladiators coach Nicole Trunzo said. “Obviously winning is enjoyable and one of the best things ever, but learning from a loss is the best thing.”
Trunzo added those lessons can be physical and mental. They can force players to adjust their positioning, such as changing their stick angle, and improve their communication.
Against Broadneck, Glenelg found out what it was like to play without one of their best players.
In the opening minutes of the second half Monday, midfielder Paige Reese, a first-team All-County selection last season, injured her shoulder after colliding with a Broadneck player. She missed the rest of the game and did not suit up against Mt. Hebron. With her arm in a sling, the senior standout cheered on her teammates from the sidelines.
Her teammates reciprocated the support, as Trunzo said she heard “let’s do this for Paige” during a team huddle. The result was a dominating performance.
Glenelg (2-0 county, 5-2 overall) forced Cargiulo to make five saves in the first five minutes before Mt. Hebron (2-1, 4-4) finally cleared. Even so, the Gladiators returned to the attacking third soon after to unleashed more attempts at net. Some sailed wide. Cargiulo saved others.
But with about 13 minutes left in the half, Hoffman’s broke through with a goal.
“Jenny Giampalmo, the inserter, had a really good pass to me, so I knew this was my opportunity,” said Hoffman, a second-team All-County performer a year ago. “I just needed to shoot as hard as I could and aim towards the post, so that’s what I tried to do.”
Her strike proved to be one of two goals Glenelg scored off 13 corners, an area Trunzo said the Gladiators need to improve on. Sometimes, Trunzo chooses to emphasize their various struggles in terms of earning a failing grade on a test. The tactic, she said, resonates well with her “academic team.”
But Wednesday, she was also blunt with her players.
“There’s no other option,” Trunzo said. “You have to put the ball in the back of the cage.”
Ten minutes into the second half, the score remained 1-0. While Glenelg continued to hold possession, one successful counter attack from Mt. Hebron would have tied the game.
Hoffman made sure that didn’t happen.
Upon receiving a pass from junior Tess Muneses, Hoffman immediately took the shot near the top of the circle. Her grounder dribbled past the goalie and into the back-right corner of the goal. With 19:15 to go, Glenelg held a two-score advantage.
The Gladiators then added their third goal about eight minutes later, a point-black strike from Grimes. Giampalmo tallied her second assist on the play.
“We gave up way too many corners,” Mt. Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland said, “and a lot of it was just off our feet. Not moving right, not being in the right position and stuff like that.”
Glenelg didn’t capitalize on the Vikings’ mistakes as frequently as Trunzo would have liked, but the Gladiators did enough to bounce back from its second defeat of the season.
“What worked in this game was us working together as a team,” Hoffman said. “We really connected our passes and cut to the ball, which I thought was the key to the success.”
Glenelg (2-0 county, 5-2 overall) — 3, Mt. Hebron (2-1, 4-4) — 0
Goals: G — Kathryn Hoffman 2, Katie Grimes.
Assists: G — Jenny Giampalmo 2, Tess Muneses.
Saves: G — Rachel Barker 4; MH — Julia Cargiulo 9.
Halftime: 1-0, G