Stephanie Asher scored two goals, both coming in the second half, to lift Glenelg to a 2-0 victory over Easton in the 2A state semifinals Monday.
The Gladiators now move on to the championship game for the third consecutive year.
“This year people doubted us and we got there again and we proved everyone wrong,” said Asher, a key piece all season for a Gladiator team that lost a talented senior class from last fall, including Player of the Year Alyssa Parker.
Getting back to the finals took some work, with the game against Easton tied at zero going into halftime. Despite five corners in the first half, the Gladiators were unable to convert anything into goals.
“We rely on corners and that’s how we’ve been scoring all year long,” Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said.
Glenelg’s Emily Russo added, “It was hard to get a rhythm going because they were so good. The second half we just wanted to get a goal.”
Less than a minute into the second half, Asher finally broke through off a corner.
Easton, however, did all it could to even things up. The Warriors tested the Gladiators with their speed and ability to spread the field, along with a defensive effort led by junior goalkeeper Lacie Kittle (12 saves).
Warrior coach Maureen Lempke said that her girls overcame a lot of obstacles to get to the semifinal game. “We’ve played three games in four days. I’m really proud of what we accomplished,” she said.
There was just a minute left in regulation when Asher tallied a much-needed insurance goal on an assist from Morgan Philie.
Glenelg now heads back to the state finals to face Poolesville in a game scheduled for Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m. at Washington College. The teams met in the same situation last year, with Glenelg shutting the Falcons out, 3-0.
“It never gets old, once you get this far there are no bad teams and it’s always another hurdle with each team,” Kincaid said.
Glenelg 2, Easton 0
Goals: G: Asher 2.
Assists: G: Philie.
Saves: G: Hoyt 2; E: Kittle 12.