Glenelg field hockey at its best against Severna Park

Anne Arundel County is quickly finding out what those in Howard County already know — Glenelg is a quality field hockey program.
The Gladiators, who shut out South River last week in the first night of games between the counties, added a 3-0 victory over three-time defending Class 4A state champion Severna Park on Tuesday at Kinder Park. Glenelg (4-0) scored all three of its goals in a 10-minute span of the first half.
“This is one of the best teams I’ve seen,” said Severna Park assistant coach Amy McKusky, who’s filling in for head coach Ann Andrews, who had ankle surgery on Monday. “They have great stick work and they’re fast. They were connecting their passes, and that’s just not what we were doing today.”
Glenelg, which plays in the Class 2A East Region, had its streak of seven straight region titles snapped last year. The Gladiators have been in the state semifinals 17 times and won three straight state titles from 2010-2012.
Lindsey Letellier opened the scoring for the Gladiators 17 minutes into the first half. Gabby Rachuba followed with a goal seven minutes later and Kathryn Hoffman capped the scoring with a goal with four minutes left in the first half to give the Gladiators all the goals they would need.
“It’s hard because we really don’t know what to expect,” said Glenelg coach Nicole Trunzo, who’s engaged to Severna Park football coach Will Bell. “We know how good these teams are and how hard they work, so we’re just taking it one game at a time and working hard in practice.”
Glenelg applied pressure from the beginning and attempted four of the five penalty corners in the first half. The Gladiators had three more in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Severna Park’s Mallary Sellars and Ashley Giard each made solid defensive plays to clear the circle.
The Falcons were able to mount some pressure in the second half. Kaylin Craine made a nice stop on Hunter Chadwick midway through the half, then was forced to make another tough stop five minutes later on Ellie Schepens. The Falcons did force three penalty corners in a five-minute span of the second, but the Glenelg defense was able to clear each time.
Glenelg, which also has victories over Westminster and Bryn Mawr, has outscored its four opponents, 15-1. The Gladiators will host Broadneck on Tuesday and will play at Arundel on Sept. 27 before playing a primarily Howard County schedule the rest of the way.
Because of the new scheduling arrangement with Anne Arundel County, Howard County has instituted the tiered system where teams are grouped together based on the previous year’s records.
“Now that we’re in this tier, it’s tough every game,” Trunzo said. “There’s so many strong teams, so we just take it one game at a time and hopefully everything comes out positive.”
Taylor Aguilar stopped 11 shots for the Falcons. Severna Park, which played Marriotts Ridge to a scoreless tie last week in a game cut short due to weather, still has games remaining with Howard County teams Atholton and Mount Hebron.
“We’re a better team because we played them today,” McKusky said. “We have a lot of things to work on, but as I just told them, this was a stepping stone.”

Recommended on Baltimore Sun