Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker has made sure his players haven’t forgotten their six-game losing streak from March 30 to April 13. It’s constantly being drilled into their heads as a reminder that despite how talented a team can be, self-inflicted mistakes often decide the outcome between top-level teams. In the Gladiators’ case, those minor errors snowballed into bigger ones and resulted in three one-goal defeats and another by two.
“It really did set a tone for our season that it’s not a complete package,” Hatmaker said. “It’s a season-long deal.”
Based on Glenelg’s performance against visiting Centennial on Wednesday, however, it would be easy to forget the hard times. Senior Michael Doughty scored five goals, Cole Iannarino had three and faceoff specialist Mason Davis won 10 consecutive draws between the first and third quarters to lead the Gladiators to a dominating 12-2 victory, their fourth straight since snapping their losing skid.
“Yeah, it stunk [losing six in a row], but that’s a testament to the kids, too. I mean, you can lose a team real quick but these seniors and this group has really bound together and they’re a pretty resilient group,” Hatmaker said. “I’m proud of them for that but we’re not done by any stretch of the imagination.”
Glenelg (5-1 Howard County, 7-6 overall) scored 10 unanswered goals after the Eagles’ Peter Krawczyk gave his team a 1-0 lead late in the first quarter. Three goals in the span of 1 minute, 4 seconds to close the opening frame sparked the Gladiators, who from then on dominated possession and found the back of the net in a variety of ways.
Davis was the key. Centennial (6-2, 9-4) had no answer for him for him, as the junior won the last four faceoffs in the first quarter, all five in the second and the first in the third. He lost just two overall and won 11 until he was replaced after Glenelg staked an 8-1 advantage early in the second half.
“He did awesome. They put a [long] pole on him because no one has been stopping him all year,” Michael Doughty said. “He did awesome giving us the ball and allowing us to go to work on offense.”
Hatmaker said one of those self-inflicted mistakes during their losing streak was the play on the wings on faceoffs. The Eagles swarmed Mason consistently after he won draws cleanly but Davis was able to find the open man and make the correct reads.
“Tonight he was putting the ball where he wanted,” Hatmaker said. “... That’s something he’s really been working on, getting the ball in his stick and either going back with it, getting it to our defense to clear up or getting it out quickly to our attack. He’s key and the wings are key, too.”
Gaining extra possessions made Doughty’s job look easy. He entered the day with 61 points — 29 goals and 32 assists — through the first 12 contests and on Wednesday tallied his ninth game with five or more points. He had a hat trick in the first half, and his younger brother Kevin led the team with three assists. Overall, six of Glenelg’s 12 goals were assisted.
“We finally played well as a team, got everyone involved,” Michael Doughty said. “I think half of them were assisted today, so that’s a good thing that gets us playing well.”
Centennial, which had won two straight after ending a three-game losing streak, outplayed the Gladiators the first 11 minutes. The Eagles outshot them 8-2 and had several long possessions with multiple scoring chances, but they struggled to pick up groundballs and lost most of the 50/50 battles the rest of the way. Ty Sams scored late in the third quarter with Glenelg down two players to stop the 10-0 scoring run.
“I felt like we played a really good first quarter and then were some 50-50 plays in the second that they outworked us and won some groundballs that might have changed the complexion of the game,” Centennial coach Nick Kellinger said. “But they have great players and their great players made great plays.”
Glenelg (5-1 county, 7-6 overall) — 12, Centennial (6-2, 9-4) — 2
Goals: G — Michael Doughty 5, Cole Iannarino 3, Eric Gruber 2, Tyler Reiff 1, James Buch 1; C — Peter Krawczyk 1, Ty Sams 1
Assists: G — Kevin Doughty 3, Ryan Hopkins 2, M. Doughty 1; C — Andrew Kauffman 1
Saves: G — John Kennedy 8, Charlie Wendel 1; C — Alex Kauffman 8