Glenelg bounces past St. Michaels to title, 1-0 Gladiators score on shot that rattles off both posts; Class 1A boys soccer

His team had just won the Class 1A boys soccer championship just 10 minutes earlier, but Glenelg head coach Peter Klisas was already on his cellular phone, calling for the score he cared about most.

His Gladiators had outlasted St. Michaels, 1-0, yesterday at Old Mill High to win their first state title since 1992, but Klisas was more concerned about a game at Dundalk Community College, where his daughter, Natalie, a stopper for River Hill, was playing for the 2A-3A girls title against South River. It was 1-1 at halftime, and Klisas was antsy.


"This was nice, but family's what really matters," he said. "It's a shame I wasn't able to go. I mean, my daughter's only 16 once you know."

Klisas was able to ensure at least one family member would be bringing a state championship plaque home when the Gladiators used an early score and a good measure of good fortune to hold off the pesky Saints in the second half.


As for Klisas' daughter, she and River Hill battled South River through two overtimes for a 1-1 tie and share of the state title.

Senior midfielder Brian Musgrove gave Glenelg its goal 13: 43 into the game with a freak shot from 20 yards. Musgrove's shot from the left side caromed off the upper left part of the goal post, curled along the goal line over goaltender Jason Smith, and bounced off the other post and into the net.

"I didn't think it was going in at first," Musgrove said of his fifth goal of the season. "I just hit it as hard as I could, and it just curved before it finally hit inside the far post."

Glenelg (12-6) controlled play in the first 15 minutes, taking the first five shots of the game (7-3 for the first half) and maintaining constant possession in the Saints' end.

St. Michaels (13-4-1) suddenly awoke midway through the half, however, when it produced two major scoring chances in the last four minutes. The best chance came with two minutes left when freshman midfielder Kyle Haynes collected a loose ball 5 yards out to the right of the goal, but with goaltender Justin Benoliel out of position, he fired a shot into the side of the net.

Benoliel finished with seven saves.

St. Michaels continued to control tempo in the second half, partly, Klisas said, because the Saints' long-ball attack was capitalizing on the Gladiators' weariness.

"We started the playoffs with about a full tank of gas," he said. "We started today with about a quarter and now we're empty."


Still, Glenelg nearly tacked on an insurance goal at 33: 37 when Lawrence's shot from 15 yards hit the crossbar.

"We got off the bus flat," said St. Michaels head coach Bill Schultz. "After that I think we kind of took control of the game. It's a shame we give up one fluke, but that was no one in particular's fault."

Benoliel preserved the lead with five minutes left when he leaped to snare a corner before two players could head it.

The keeper caught a break with two minutes left, however, when Saints senior forward Damiean Turner fanned on an open-net shot from 5 yards. St. Michaels players collapsed briefly on the field after the miss, and the Saints did not threaten again.

Klisas said he knew his team would win its first title since sharing the 2A title with Rockville in 1992.

"I knew we were the better team, and that's not to take anything away from St. Michaels," he said. "With the schedule we play in Howard County, to get through that, I knew we would win."


Pub Date: 11/16/97