It was clear Glenelg was anxious to make a statement at Mt. Hebron on Tuesday in its season opener that its run to the state championship game last year was no fluke. It was just a taste of what’s to come this spring.
Gladiators coach Josh Hatmaker said the same offensive firepower he saw during their 10-game winning streak that carried them to the state final has been evident all preseason, so the result against one of Howard County’s best teams was no surprise.
“I’ve seen us beat the hell out of each other,” he said. “Believe me, I’ve been seeing that offense for the last three weeks. It’s a tough guard and our defense is starting to catch back up. Are we surprised? No, we’re not. I’m happy.”
Glenelg dominated the Vikings from start to finish and in every facet of the game, and the result was an eye-opening 19-3 victory against a Mt. Hebron team that proved its no slouch either by taking down defending regional champions Liberty on Monday night.
Seven different players, including four midfielders, scored multiple goals for the Gladiators, who jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter and put the game out of reach with seven more in the second. They led 9-1 with five minutes remaining in the half after scoring six goals in the span of 6:10.
“Is that the statement we wanted to make in our first game? Sure,” Hatmaker said. “... I thought our midfield had an advantage athleticism-wise and we shot pretty well today, and we left a couple on the board. Defensively, we played pretty damn well.”
Michael Doughty and Cole Iannarino scored hat tricks, while Tyler Reiff, Kyle Dry, Eric Gruber, Tyler Nalls and Justin Silk had two goals apiece. In total, Glenelg had 39 shots and much of the offensive success was the result of Jack McSally, who dominated the faceoff X and won 18 out of his 24 draws, including 10 of 11 in the second half.
The 19 goals scored are the most Glenelg (1-0 Howard County, 1-0 overall) has had in any game since it beat Wilde Lake 19-1 on April 15, 2015.
“The kids get a year older. We were young last year,” Hatmaker said. “We had freshmen and sophomores running at midfield and now they’re sophomores and juniors. You add that in with some senior experience — we’ve got some really good guys off-ball who can generate assists and finish. We’re balanced, we just need to make sure we perform and do what we want to depending on what the defense gives us.”
Mt. Hebron coach Mike McCarthy said it was one of the worst losses he can remember at the helm. He said the Gladiators pounced on every possible opportunity and it snowballed as they continued to win faceoffs and force turnovers in the Vikings zone.
Mateo Brown, Nick Nordhausen and Garrett Snyder scored for Mt. Hebron (0-1, 1-1).
“We didn’t finish and they would capitalize right away, we didn’t finish and they would capitalize right away and it just snowballed real quick,” McCarthy said. “And we had some unforced errors. We’ve got to play better. They hammered us in every phase of the game.”
Hopkins opened the game with a goal and Brown answered to tie the game at 1 less than four minutes later. But it was all Glenelg from there, as it pushed its lead to 3-1 with goals 40 seconds apart and scored nine unanswered goals to take a 10-1 lead at the break.
The Vikings scored the first goal of the second half only to see the Gladiators rally again with four straight goals and nine of the next 10.