Jubilation quickly turned to hesitation for the Marriotts Ridge field hockey team Friday night.
The Mustangs had been awarded the victory over host Glenelg following a hectic corner at the end of regulation, but the two officials spent more than five minutes discussing the final play as both teams waited in limbo.
The Gladiators appeared to have scored on their corner to send the game to overtime, but the umpire ruled a dangerous hit against the Glenelg player and rescinded the goal.
Following what seemed to be a tense meeting between the officials, they confirmed the originally ruling, granting Marriotts Ridge the 2-1 victory.
“I don’t even know what was going through my head,” said Marriotts Ridge senior Emma Gladstein. “I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be a goal. When they called it no goal, it was probably the happiest moment so far this season.”
Marriotts Ridge senior Emma Gladstein talks Mustangs field hockey after the team's 2-1 win over Glenelg on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.
The win gives Marriotts Ridge (1-0 Howard County, 2-4 overall) a pivotal triumph in pursuit of the Howard County championship, which the Mustangs last won in 2017 when they shared the crown with River Hill. The Mustangs’ only county loss last season was to the Gladiators, who ended the season as county champs and as a Class 2A semifinalist.
“Glenelg is our rival, and it’s probably the hardest in-county game we have,” Gladstein said. “Winning this game means a lot, and it’s a step closer to winning the county championship.”
Glenelg (1-1, 1-3) drew first blood at home with a goal from Sarah Kang. The junior fired a shot from 15 yards out to put the Gladiators up 1-0 midway through the first half.
The Mustangs then scored two goals in the next 10 minutes to go up 2-1 at halftime.
Kaylie Savage tied the game for the Mustangs, while Emma Gladstein gave Marriotts Ridge the lead with a slick reverse chip a few minutes before intermission.
“I knew that I couldn’t take it back to the right, because everyone was over there. I found myself in an open space and I shot it, because you can’t make the shot if you don’t take it,” Gladstein said.
Neither team could find the back of the cage in the second half. Both goalies — Marriotts Ridge’s Grace Tolle and Glenelg’s Rachel Barker — prevented good opportunities. Tolle tallied seven saves, while Barker saved eight shots.
With 30 seconds left in the game, the Gladiators were granted a corner. After the players set up, time had run out, and the penalty corner was the defending county champion’s last chance to send the game to overtime.
Sarah Kang received the corner and immediately passed to Jasmine Shearer, who fired a shot that was blocked by Marriotts Ridge defender Emma Miller. The ball went up into the air, and Glenelg’s Sammie Anderson smacked the ball at chin level into the cage. The official immediately took away the goal, and after a lengthy discussion with her partner, upheld her original ruling.
Marriotts Ridge head coach Stacie Gado said she couldn’t see what happened in the final seconds from the sideline.
“I couldn’t see, because we were too far away on the sideline and there were so many people around, but if the stick is too high or if there is swinging in the air and there’s other players around, then it’s a dangerous hit,” said Gado, explaining the dangerous hit rule. “If the ball pops up towards a player’s head, then that’s dangerous, too.”
Despite the loss, Glenelg head coach Nikki Trunzo said she was proud of how her young team is developing this season.
“We’re playing really hard teams, and my team is young,” Trunzo said. “Seeing them improve each game and different girls stepping up, I’m really proud of them.”
Both teams are back in action Monday. Marriotts Ridge travels to Reservoir, while Glenelg plays at Fallston.
Marriotts Ridge 2, Glenelg 1
Goals: MR — Kaylie Savage, Emma Gladstein; G — Sarah Kang.