HOWARD COUNTY, MD — With 10 freshmen on the roster and several starting and playing significant minutes on the varsity level, Glenelg Country School coach Kevin Boland admitted there have been a number of mistakes through its first three games. He hopes they will grow up quickly — physically and mentally — but knows there is still a ways to go in order to compete for the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship this spring.
“Youth is a good thing and a bad thing,” Boland said. “It’s a good thing in the sense that I’m not sure some of our young guys feel a lot of pressure because they’re young and they’re not expected to make a ton of plays, so it’s OK for them to have a turnover now and then because it’s expected. But the goal is to get better every game and for our young guys to develop and our freshmen to be sophomores by the time we’re in our second-third of our season.”
On Wednesday, Boland watched several of his young players take that next step in a commanding 16-4 win against visiting St. John’s Catholic Prep. Freshmen Will Hopkins and Finn Schmidt combined for nine goals, while senior midfielder Riley Martin facilitated and led an offense that scored on its first five shots in the second quarter. Freshmen Brennan McKneely and Rocco Buscher also found the back of the net.
The Dragons (2-0 MIAA B, 3-1 overall) led 9-0 at the half and scored the first 10 goals of the game with senior goalie Brayden Franey making 11 stops.
“None of our guys were feeling like they had to make the home run play,” Boland said. “They were sharing the ball, making sure we’re being unselfish, executing our offense and scoring goals the way we want to score them and making sure we’re not taking the first opportunity but the right opportunity.”
Martin got the offense going early with a goal 1 minute, 8 seconds into the contest and Schmidt followed with a score a couple minutes later. Martin’s second tally of the quarter with 5:50 left gave the Dragons a 3-0 lead, and they exploded early in the second frame by scoring on their first five shots within four minutes.
Boland said Martin, who switched from attack to midfield for the season, has been key for the team in early going of the season.
“He’s done a great job,” Boland said. “I’ve been coaching here three years and I’ve seen a lot of maturity out of him, not just as a lacrosse player but as a young man as well.”
Hopkins scored two in the first half but dominated in the third quarter. He scored four more goals in the first 7:30 of the stanza, and two more goals from Schmidt in the final minutes of the quarter extended Glenelg Country’s lead to 15-2.
Zachary Lane scored a pair of goals in the fourth quarter to lead St. John’s Catholic Prep offensively.
Glenelg Country (2-0 MIAA B, 3-1) — 16, St. John’s Catholic Prep — 4
Goals: GCS — Will Hopkins 6, Finn Schmidt 3, Riley Martin 2, Brennan McKneely 1, Matt Palmisano 1, Tristan McKneely 1, Jai Bhatnagar 1, Rocco Buscher 1; SJCP — Zachary Lane 2, Tucker Hall 1, Nick Perret 1
Goals: GCS — Martin 2, Hopkins 2, Bhatnagar 2, Joey Welsh 2, Palmisano 1; SJCP — Lane 1
Goals: GCS — Brayden Franey 10; SJCP — Joshua Grove 11
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Halftime: 9-0, Glenelg Country