This fall, Glenelg (17-1) went into the field hockey season without Alyssa Parker, one of just two girls to ever finish a high school career in the nation with more than 100 goals and 100 assists, and captain Mary Kate Olson. Together they accounted for most of Glenelg's scoring in back-to-back championships over the past two years, whether it was scoring the goals or assisting on others.
In the Class 2A title game Saturday, five different players scored as the Gladiators continued their run by winning a third straight title, 5-1, over Poolesville.
"We came into the season knowing we're all good athletes," said senior forward Danielle Baker, who scored the winning goal and assisted on two others. "We play really well together and we're really good at being unselfish. Like always, we play for each other and not for ourselves."
The Falcons started strong, with junior Sarah Onderko scoring to give Poolesville a 1-0 lead 6:30 into the game.
But the goal inspired Glenelg in the march for another title.
"That goal pumped us up," Baker said. "We realized we needed to pick up our game."
Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid knew her team would find goals -- it had scored 117 of them during the season -- but she wasn't sure her Gladiators would get this win.
"I'm just amazed," Kincaid said. "I never thought a three-peat. It's crazy."
Kincaid said the team was supported here by Olson, who was in the stands cheering, and by Parker, who had texted from Connecticut, where she was playing with Maryland in the NCAA tournament.
"Alyssa and Mary Kate empowered us to be great," Kincaid said. "And they've been texting us all day. They're right here with us."
Class 2A state championship
No. 3 Glenelg 5, Poolesville 1
Goals: Meissner, Baker, Russo, Taylor, Vandewall. Assists: Taylor (2), Baker (2). Corners: G 12. P 3. Saves: G- Hoyt (2). P Lamanna (12). Halftime: Glenelg 2-1.