The top senior field hockey players in Howard County gathered at Reservoir High School on Thursday night to play one more high school game.
The 41 players were split into two teams for the 2019 Howard County senior game, and in perfect all-star game fashion, the contest ended in a tie.
The Dark Blue team, led by coaches Jeannette Ireland (Mt. Hebron), Courtney Abell (Hammond) and Nikki Trunzo (Glenelg) tied the Light Blue team, led by coaches Stacie Gado (Mt. Hebron), Shelly Chamness (River Hill) and Ginger Kincaid (Wilde Lake).
“It’s just fun," said Kincaid. "It’s our gift to our seniors to come together one more time and play. It’s wonderful to see all this talent on here at the same time.”
The final score, 6-6, saw goals from some of the top players in the county. Mt. Hebron’s Esha Shah, who scored 17 goals and had seven assists in the regular season for the county champion Vikings, scored three goals and had two assists for the Dark Blue team.
The initial signing date for prospective student athletes enrolling in college for the 2020-21 school year is Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 and a multitude of individuals around Howard County participated in the festivities.
Reservoir’s Sarah Nam scored Dark Blue’s other three goals, while Atholton’s Allison Welch and Marriotts Ridge’s Emma Gladstein and Kayla Brusco scored Light Blue’s other three goals.
“Tonight was great," Nam said. "I know a lot of them from lacrosse, too. We have some rivalries between us, but it was really fun.”
Canned goods were collected at the game, which was sponsored by the Maryland Select Officials Association, to benefit the Howard County Food Bank.
Here is a list of each team’s seniors who compete in the game:
The Raiders had three players compete in the senior game — goalie Kerri Silverstein midfielder Alli Welch and forward Natalie Lewis.
“I’m so proud of these girls and what they have accomplished,” said Atholton head coach Martie Dyer. “(We) are so happy to be a part of Howard County field hockey and all the girls that are so accomplished in this sport.”
The Eagles had five players compete in the senior game — goalie Casey Stratton, midfielder Sara Ferrara, forward Eliza Andrew and defenders Erin McGuire and Hannah Kim. The five seniors were members of a 10-player class that also included Genevive Lee, Lauren Karasack, Casey Duhon, Kristin Parisi and Jessie Gabel.
“I’ve had these seniors since they were freshmen,” said Centennial head coach Lizz Engle on Oct. 14. “There are so many of them, and there are so many things that I love about all of them. They all bring something so different to the team. ... They came out with so much heart and passion for Senior Night. Even though the score didn’t reflect it, we played one of our best games we’ve played this season and I’m super proud of them.”
The Gladiators had two players compete in the senior game — defender Grace Meissner and midfielder Ashley O’Byrne. The two seniors were members of a six-player class along with Delaware commit Kathryn Hoffman, Delaney Williamson, Morgan Murray and Kayla Shriver. Glenelg (7-8) finished fourth in the county this season and lost, 2-1, in overtime to Marriotts Ridge, who went on to win the MPSSAA Class 2A titles, in the second round of the region playoffs.
“My seniors this year mean a lot every year,” said Glenelg coach Nikki Trunzo. “They were great leaders this year. We had a really young team, and they were great leaders. It was a lot of fun with them. I’m going to miss them; they all had great personalities on and off the field.”
The Golden Bears had one player compete in the senior game — defender Alexis Kujawa.
“Alexis was very important to our team this season,” said Hammond head coach Courtney Abell. “She was a leader and set the example for her other teammates. … We wish her luck as she moves on into her future.”
The Lions had seven players compete in the senior game — defenders Grace Bounds, Lindsey Cowan and Karter Hayden and midfielders Katie Sloan, Sam Ponsford, Shea O’Connor and Maeve Dunnigan.
“We had a lot of seniors who started,” said Lindsey Cowan, who was third on the team with 11 points (four goals, three assists) this season. “We all worked really well together. We had a good bond and got along really well, which helped us on the field.”
The Lightning had two players compete in the senior game — defender Lauren Kim and midfielder Leah McClelland.
“Lauren and Leah are two of my three captains,” said Long Reach head coach Melissa Boardman. “They’ve had a great attitude all season, they’ve improved so much and have helped the team. I think they both deserve to be out here with all these amazing girls.”
The Mustangs had six players compete in the senior game — goalie Grace Tolle, defender Megan Hettinger, midfielder Gracie Kennedy and forwards Emma Gladstein, Kayla Brusco and Eloise Clevenger. The Mustangs, led by a senior class that also consisted of Emma Williamson, Emma Miller and Sidney Parkent, won the MPSSAA Class 2A title last week for the program’s first state championship. Gladstein, who scored a goal in the all-star game and committed to Delaware on Wednesday, led Marriotts Ridge (12-6-1) with 32 points (13 goals, six assists) this season.
“This is great for the entire team to have worked so hard throughout the entire year,” said head coach Stacie Gado after the state title win on Nov. 9. “To win this game feels really good. They put all their heart into it, now they’re going to be a part of Marriotts Ridge history.”
The Vikings had five players compete in the senior game — goalie Hailey Conklin, midfielders Esha Shah and Ally DeBels and forwards Mackenzie Strozyk and Ameilia Hogel. The senior class, which also included Grace Chaffinch, Erin Webb, Margaret Inskeep and Jessica Cherry, led Mt. Hebron (11-4) to a county title.
“They’re an awesome senior class,” said Mt. Hebron head coach Jeannette Ireland after the team’s season-ending loss on Oct. 30. “They’re a really special group. … We hadn’t won the county championship since 2013 or beaten Glenelg or an Anne Arundel County team in a long time (before this year). We took big steps this year.”
The Scorpions had three players compete in the senior game — defender Cori Lawson, midfielder Megan Gunther and forward Kenzie Minarcin
“Kenzie had 23 goals,” said Oakland Mills head coach Kristen Vance after the team’s season-ending loss to Glenelg on Oct. 24. “That’s an amazing feat no matter what team you play for. We’re certainly going to miss her. Cori and Megan have provided a ton of leadership on and off the field. We have a lot of girls who are playing for their first time ever, and they were mentors and took some girls under their wings and teach them the game and spread love for the game of field hockey.”
The Gators had one player compete in the senior game — forward Sarah Nam, who led Reservoir with 15 goals and three assists during the season.
“Sarah has been a four-year starter, and she’s the most (well-rounded) player I’ve ever seen. Our other two seniors, they were great teammates and they were always so supportive. I was pleased to have such a great senior class, and they’re great people off the field too.”
The Hawks had two players compete in the senior game — defender Kelly Key and midfielder Quinn Kindbom. Kindbom, an Indiana commit, led River Hill (11-6-1) with 16 goals an 10 assists in the Hawks’ state semifinal campaign.
“Quinn has been with me since her freshman year," said River Hill head coach Shelly Chamness after the Hawks’ season-ending loss to Urbana on Nov. 6. “That’s always special. It’s not often you get a girl for four years. Quinn has played a major role in every game for all four years. This year, she has been playing with amazing passion.”
“This was a great season,” said Kindbom on Nov. 6. “We had a lot of great girls on the team and a lot of passion.”
The Wildecats had four players compete in the senior game — defender Erin Murphy, midfielder Aliyha Hodges and forwards Mariam Farjami and Zoe Reading. Reading led Wilde Lake (10-6) to its best season in years and a region championship appearance with 16 goals and five assists.
“We had our banquet the other night, and it was tough to keep a dry eye,” said Wilde Lake head coach Ginger Kincaid. “We were 1-13 and scored six goals our first year. To turn that around to the season we had this year, I was extremely proud of them.”