John Miller was thinking about the Marriotts Ridge boys lacrosse Class of 2019 before his game Wednesday.
Miller and the 18 other seniors on this season’s Marriotts Ridge squad remember watching their leaders two years ago end their high school careers at the hands of Glenelg in the state playoffs.
The Mustangs on Wednesday avenged the loss from a little more than two years ago, defeating the Gladiators 14-6 and clinching a share of the county championship alongside Glenelg.
“Two years ago, our seniors went out on a loss against Glenelg. It’s our senior year, and we didn’t want to lose our last game against them,” Miller said. “We came out with energy and executed the game plan and got it done.”
Miller registered a hat trick and assisted on four other scores in the win, while fellow senior Charlie Reynolds led all players with four goals.
“We have a number of guys on our team who were sophomores on varsity two years ago, including John and Charlie. Now, they’re seasoned veterans,” said Mustangs head coach Thomas Minard. “If they’re playing well, it smooths everything over and gives confidence to the rest of the team.”
With the announcement on Wednesday that there will be state playoffs this year, the regular season schedule for Howard County lacrosse was adjusted to eliminate the county championship tournament. Instead, it was determined that the team with the best record in Division A through the first five games — one matchup against each team in the division — would be crowned as champions.
Therefore, Marriotts Ridge and Glenelg, both with a 4-1 record, will share this season’s county championship. The title is the second straight for the Mustangs, who went undefeated in county play in 2019 to win the crown. For the Gladiators, the shared championship trophy is the second in three seasons, as Glenelg didn’t lose a county game in 2018 to win the title.
“Earlier today we found out that we weren’t going to see them again after today, and this is the game we’ve been looking forward to all year,” said Reynolds. “Since we didn’t know how many games we’d have left and we knew this was going to be out last time coming [to Glenelg], we wanted to come out here and leave it all on the field.”
The Mustangs wasted no time to put host Glenelg on its heels on the sunny evening, slinging out to a 4-0 lead on goals from Reynolds, Jack Slack, Miller and Reynolds again.
“[Scoring early] is one of the biggest things for us,” Reynolds said. “When we get a goal or two, we get that energy up and things just start rolling for us.”
During the run, Glenelg’s offense sputtered and couldn’t get many good chances or capitalize on the few they did have.
“Early on, we could’ve shot the ball better with placement, but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities all game, and they did,” said Glenelg head coach Josh Hatmaker. “I think broken situations killed us all night long. I’d guess that eight to 10 of their goals came in broken situations.”
Hatmaker did say, though, that some of the team’s struggles on offense is a credit to Marriotts Ridge’s stout and athletic defense, led by goalies Thomas Coakley and Tyler Gladstone. Coakley tallied 12 saves in the first half, while Gladstone saved 10 shots in the second.
“They have a really good defense and two really good goalies,” Hatmaker said.
“Both of them played very well,” Minard said. “We’re fortunate to have two very good goalies.”
Marriotts Ridge added two more goals to open the second quarter to take a 6-1 lead, but Glenelg came back with three scores, including one from Colin Buch with only 12 seconds remaining on the clock, to pull within 6-4 entering halftime.
However, the Mustangs didn’t allow the Gladiators to capitalize on their momentum, scoring the first two goals of the second half and outscoring Glenelg 5-1 in the third period.
“I know they were down 6-2 against Mt. Hebron and came back to win. I told the guys that they’re talented enough to come back on us,” Minard said. “It was nice to get those goals in the third quarter.”
In total, nine Mustangs either scored or had an assist in the win. All five of the Mustangs’ captains — Miller, Reynolds, Slack, Jake Levey and Quinn Kelley — registered a point.
While a few games against Division B teams still remain for the two squads, both the Mustangs and the Gladiators will prepare for the state playoffs, which begin June 7. Two years ago, Glenelg ended its season with 10 straight wins to claim the 2A state title.
Slotted into different classifications for the first time in several years, Glenelg (2A) and Marriotts Ridge (3A) will not face off again this season.
“We’re very excited, and we’re fortunate to have a very good team,” Minard said. “That’s been the goal from the very beginning of this is to get there and see what happens.”
Marriotts Ridge 14, Glenelg 6
Goals: MR — Charlie Reynolds 4, John Miller 3, Topher Kennedy 2, Mac Clevenger 2, Jack Slack, Charlie Burd, Jake Levey; G — Colin Buch 3, Wyatt Haney, Evan Whatley, Nick Dalton.
Assists: MR — Miller 4, Reynolds, Levey, Slack, Quinn Kelley; G — Buch, Haney, Kevin Doughty, Michael Gloth.
Saves: MR — Thomas Coakley 12, Tyler Gladsone 10; G — N/A.
Halftime: 6-4, MR.
OTHER BOYS LACROSSE SCORES:
Atholton 15, Long Reach 3
Toby Aquino and Drew Kassman both scored five goals to lead the Raiders (3-1) to the convincing win over the Lightning (1-4). Spencer Krasnick and Mason Meyerpeter both scored two goals for Atholton, while Meyerpeter and Ryan Hernandez both assisted three goals apiece. Long Reach was led by Elijah McNeil (two goals) and Jordan McNeil (one goal).
Goals: A — Toby Aquino 5, Drew Kassman 5, Spencer Krasnick 2, Mason Meyerpeter 2, Ryan Hernandez; LR — Elijah McNeil 2, Jordan McNeil 1.
Assists: A — Hernandez 3, Meyerpeter 3, Daniel Cade 2, Meyerpeter, Ryan Boubsil, Zach Duncan, Krasnick, Aquino;
Saves: A — Walsh 6, Halpern 4; LR — DJ Belechto 21.
Halftime: 9-1, A
Mt. Hebron 11, River Hill 3
Gianni Karam and Cameron Stockenberg combined to score seven goals to lead the Vikings (3-2) to their third straight triumph. Keegan Ryan also scored twice for Mt. Hebron, while Brendan Demek tallied four assists. The Mt. Hebron defense forced 21 turnovers and only surrendered one goal in the first 45 minutes of the contest. River Hill (0-5) was led by goalie Kyle Henry, who tallied 17 saves in the loss.
Goals: MH — Gianni Karam 4, Cameron Stockenberg 3, Keegan Ryan 2, Gavin Fleck, Rich Tangires; RH — Devin Campbell, Liam Curtin, Will Gochar.
Assists: RH — Brendan Demek 4, Gavin Fleck 2, Cameron Stockenberg, Gianni Karam.
Saves: MH — Alan Covert 6, Everett Armstead 6; RH — Kyle Henry 17, Charlie Kluckhuhn 1.
Halftime: 4-1, MH.
Centennial 7, Howard 5
Alex Kauffman’s 12 saves led the Eagles to the low-scoring victory over the 2019 4A state champions. Josh Flick led Centennial (3-2) with four goals, while Jake Ritter chipped in with two scores. Howard (1-4), meanwhile, received a great game from Aiden Larsen, who scored three of the Lions’ goals and assisted the other two.
Goals: C — Josh Flick 4, Jake Ritter 2, James MacLellan; Ho — Aiden Larsen 3, Bryce Banghart 2.
Assists: C — Ritter, Sam Bussink, Andrew Hockersmith; Ho — Larsen 2.
Saves: C — Alex Kaufman 12; Ho — Logan Boone 7.
Halftime: 4-3, C.
Wilde Lake 18, Oakland Mills 6
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Michael Stralka scored six goals and assisted two more in the Wildecats’ blowout victory. Eric Knoerschild, Lucas Michael and Quinn Sutker all registered hat tricks for Wilde Lake (2-2). Michael also tallied five assists. Oakland Mills (2-3), meanwhile, was paced by Tyler May and Joe Thompson, both of whom tallied two goals, and Matt Hamman, who scored once and had three helpers.
Goals: WL — Michael Stralka 6, Eric Knoerschild 3, Lucas Michael 3, Quinn Sutker 3, Rowley Jackson 2, Henry Hilger; OM — Tyler May 2, Joe Thompson 2, Matt Hamman, Blake Nguyen.
Assists: WL — Michael 5, Stralka 2, Jack Phelps 2, Evan Robinson, Joey Facchiano, Jackson, Sutker; OM — Hamman 3, May 1.
Saves: WL — Lewis Collora 9; OM — Michael Clancy 7.
Halftime: 8-3, WL.