It took until the second half, but Glenelg finally broke away in its 2A East regional final game against Marriotts Ridge Thursday evening.
Scoring five times in the second half, including three goals in the final three minutes, the Gladiators earned a 6-1 victory and a berth in the state semifinals.
“We always have trouble playing Marriotts Ridge because it’s such an emotional game for everyone,” Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said. “They play such tight triangles that it makes it hard to do what we do best.
“This game really prepared us for the tough games we have left to come.”
Glenelg finished strong, but the game was fairly even most of the way.
“When I look at the first half, it was an evenly matched game. Everyone worked their butts off,” Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado said. “Everyone knows that Glenelg is a strong team, but the confidence that my girls had at the beginning of the game was noticeable.”
Glenelg held a 1-0 lead at the half, getting a goal 25 minutes courtesy of Stephanie Asher off a pass from Megan Taylor.
“We came in during halftime and talked about what we needed to do. We needed to talk more, make smaller passes, and work the field,” Taylor said.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Emily Russo upped the Gladiator lead to 2-0 on a corner shot. Then, two minutes later, Morgan Philie scored on a corner of her own.
But with time running down in regulation, Marriotts Ridge got itself on the board. Lexi Souder converted a pass from Rachel Lee to cut the Mustang deficit to two.
“Our intensity throughout the whole game was great. When we scored toward the end, I think it showed the heart of our team that we didn’t give up until the game was over,” Marriotts Ridge senior captain Brooke Sharbaugh said.
But as quickly as the Mustangs grabbed some momentum, Glenelg took it right back.
Asher scored 25 seconds after Souder’s goal, taking a pass from Taylor. Then, with a little over a minute remaining, Asher found Danielle Baker. Finally, Baker found Philie for a goal past Marriotts Ridge goalie Sophia Hamilton (16 saves) that created the final margin.
“When they scored their goal we used that as fuel and got really fired up. We said ‘No more after that.’ It was our game to win,” Russo said.
The Gladiators will play the 2A South champion Monday at Franklin High School. This is the fifth consecutive year that Glenelg has advanced to the state semifinal game.
Glenelg 6, Marriotts Ridge 1
Goals: G: Asher 2, Philie 2, Russo, Baker; MR: Souder.
Assists: G: Taylor 2, Baker 2, Russo, Asher; MR: Lee.
Saves: G: Hoyt 1; MR: Hamilton 16.
Half: 1-0 G.
Glenelg Country School falls to Friends
Glenelg Country lost a heartbreaker to visiting Friends, 1-0, in double overtime in a IAAM B quarterfinal game.
It was an evenly matched game. Glenelg held an 8-5 advantage in penalty corners and both teams had ample shots, 21 for Glenelg and 22 for Friends.
The Dragons’ senior keeper Sarah Bates played an extraordinary game, making 21 saves. There was also strong play from senior Nicole Rieu and junior Mallory Pappas.
Glenelg Country ends its season 6-4-1 in the IAAM B Conference and 7-7-1 overall.