In a season full of standout efforts, Glenelg sophomore center midfielder Kamryn Henson saved her best for last.
On their most important penalty corner of the season, locked in a scoreless game in the closing minutes against Hereford in the 2A state championship game, Henson gathered a pass from sophomore AJ Eyre and looked toward goal.
She then calmly fired the ball into the back of the cage, helping the Gladiators secure the 1-0 victory on the state’s biggest stage.
“Originally I told AJ to dribble in because there were only two defenders, but then she made the decision to pass it to me instead,” Henson said of the game-winning goal. “When the ball went in, I really couldn’t believe it because we had gone through that whole game with barely any shots. It was just such a great feeling.”
Henson’s impact this fall extended far beyond just that state championship performance, though, as she scored 13 goals and tallied 8 assists for the Gladiators this season. As a freshman in the spring, Henson made first team All-County and she has been one of the Gladiators’ most important players each of the last two seasons.
This fall that all-around impact has earned Henson Howard County Times/Columbia Flier fall 2021 field hockey Player of the Year honors.
“During the state championship, another coach who was going to be coaching right after us came up to my husband and said, ‘Who is No. 26 and where is going to school?’” Glenelg coach Nikki Trunzo said of Henson.
“My husband said, ‘She’s only a sophomore’ and the coach said, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s the best player I’ve ever seen.’ Watching Kamryn, that’s the reaction you get. It’s not just from me, but it’s from others. It’s just a really awesome thing to hear that and be able to coach her.”
Like many of her teammates, Henson entered the state championship nervous and not sure what to expect. The Gladiators were a young team with only two seniors, but Henson’s consistency shined through when the team needed it most.
“I feel like it takes a lot of patience and confidence,” Henson said of her ability to step up in the clutch. “Especially because I play club field hockey and it’s way different. Having to come in and play for high school, it takes a lot of patience. It takes time to get used to everything. It really comes back to confidence and not feeling like you’re too young to be getting that far.”
Henson’s continued development showcased itself in multiple ways, none more important than the leadership and poise she displayed for the Gladiators both on and off the field.
“The last thing Kamryn thinks about herself personally is, ‘I need to score this goal.’ If we need her to get back on defense, she will run as hard as she can in the most exhausting time of the game,” Trunzo said. “If she needs to assist a goal or get a second assist, she will do that.
“She just does not care about scoring or getting the game-winning goal. She cares about supporting, playing as hard as she can, being there for her teammates and just succeeding in general.”
First team All-County
Maisy Clevenger, Marriotts Ridge, junior. After making second team All-County as a sophomore, Clevenger was even better this fall while compiling 17 goals and six assists for the region-champion Mustangs.
AJ Eyre, Glenelg, sophomore. Eyre helped lead the Gladiators to a county, region and state title this fall by finishing with 21 goals and 13 assists.
Bella Pereira, Reservoir, junior. Pereira tallied five goals and one assist, developing into one of the Gators’ key players in the circle offensively.
Claire Slade, River Hill, senior. A three-year starter, Slade finished her career by posting 21 goals and five assists, helping the Hawks reach the state finals.
Helen Baldy, Centennial, sophomore. A first team All-County performer for a second straight season, Baldy finished the season with a team-high eight goals to go along with three assists.
Brinkley Eyre, Glenelg, freshman. In her first season, Eyre was one of the Gladiators’ main contributors by tallying three goals and eight assists as Glenelg captured a county, region and state title.
Natalie Freeman, Marriotts Ridge, junior. Transferring into the program from Garrison Forest, Freeman was voted as Howard County Co-Player of the Year by the coaches this fall. A Penn State University commit, she finished with 21 goals and seven assists.
Natalie Machiran, Mt. Hebron, sophomore. Returning from ACL surgery in the spring, Machiran emerged as a pivotal player for the Vikings on both ends of the field. She finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with 11 goals and two assists.
Puja Nanjappa, River Hill, junior. One of the county’s leading facilitators with 13 assists, Nanjappa also added one goal on the way to being named first team All-County for a third straight season for a Hawks’ team that made a run to the state championship game.
Maddie Vasilios, River Hill, junior. The University of Maryland commit and Howard County Player of the Year in the spring tallied 30 goals and 11 assists this fall, spearheading the state finalist Hawks’ offense. Vasilios was also named first-team all-state and NFHCA MidAtlantic all-region.
Sophia Baxter, Marriotts Ridge, junior. Splitting time between midfield and defense, the Appalachian State commit made first team All-County for a second straight season. A team captain, Baxter finished with five goals and 13 assists.
Sarah Walker, Glenelg, freshman. In her first season with the Gladiators, Walker emerged as a stalwart defensively. She helped the team shut out all five opponents in the playoffs and allow just 13 goals all year on the way to clinching county, region and state titles.
Sarah Weitzman, Reservoir, junior. A team captain, Weitzman often stepped up in critical situations on corners for the Gators, posting three goals and five assists.
Maggie Frisvold, Reservoir, junior. In her first season on varsity, Frisvold finished with 128 saves, including 18 in one game against River Hill. She also had three shutouts and a save percentage of 79.
Second team All-County
Forwards: Bella Konrad, Atholton, junior; Laura Mason, River Hill, senior; Liana Mullican, Wilde Lake, senior; Theresa Stiller, Glenelg, sophomore.
Midfielders: Bri Floyd, Wilde Lake, senior; Alyssa Gorny, Howard, senior; Kate Kim, Glenelg, sophomore; Paige Leitzel, Mt. Hebron, senior; Emi Moran, Marriotts Ridge, senior;
Defenders: Evelyn Dzubak, River Hill, junior; Hannah Haber, Hammond, junior; Sophia Haghgoo, Marriotts Ridge, senior.
Goalkeepers: Jocelyn Baker, River Hill, junior; Lily DeBlasio, Hammond, junior.
Asha Derstine, Atholton, junior (F); Hayley Harris, Centennial, junior (MF); Alaina Kelly, Centennial, senior (F); Ashley Kim, Glenelg, sophomore (F); Ellen Landrum, Centennial, senior (MF); Katie Oliver, Oakland Mills, senior (G); Abigail Reed, Oakland Mills, junior (MF); Skyler Rill, Glenelg, junior (F); Kara Schmidt, Atholton, junior (D); Amanda Windsor, Marriotts Ridge, senior (G); Allie Young, River Hill, senior (MF).
IAAM B Conference All-Stars
Hannah Glawe, Glenelg Country senior
Laura Kim, Glenelg Country senior
Glenelg* (11-1 county, 16-1 overall); River Hill** (10-2, 15-4); Atholton (10-0, 12-1); Marriotts Ridge^ (8-4, 11-5); Wilde Lake (7-4, 9-5); Hammond (7-5, 8-6); Mt. Hebron (5-7, 8-8); Reservoir (4-8, 4-9); Long Reach (3-8, 3-10); Centennial (3-9, 3-10); Howard (1-11, 1-12); Oakland Mills (0-10, 1-11); Glenelg Country (1-5 IAAM B, 1-7).
*County, 2A state champion; **3A state champion; ^3A East Region I champion