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Gladiators' balanced attack nets victories

The Baltimore Sun

It doesn't take long for Glenelg girls lacrosse coach Ginger Kincaid to respond when asked what the key has been to the team's powerful attack this season.

One word does it - balance.

The No. 11 Gladiators entered the week with an 8-1 mark - No. 2 McDonogh beating them, 13-9, on Saturday for their first setback - and have scored 177 goals for an average of 19.7 per game.

Goals have come from all directions with Kristen Keravich (31 goals, 15 assists), Julianne Nicola (29 goals, 12 assists), Kristy Black (27 goals, 13 assists) and Alayna Markwordt (25 goals, 22 assists) leading the way.

"We have a lot of players who can score and usually in any one game, we've had six, seven and eight kids scoring. So it's hard to shut everybody down. You can do a lot of different things and teams can't face-guard any one player, so it makes it pretty tough," said Kincaid.

Plenty of positives came in Saturday's loss to McDonogh, and Kincaid was particularly pleased with the Gladiators' second-half effort. Glenelg led 3-2 in the first half before the Eagles rallied with four straight goals to take a 6-3 lead at the break. Instead of letting the game slip away, the Gladiators stayed tough throughout - outscored 7-6 in the second half - and left knowing they could stack up with the talented Eagles.

Tough county tests begin Friday when the Gladiators take on River Hill at 5:30 p.m. Kincaid said the experience gained against McDonogh is invaluable.

"It's huge because if we're going to do anything we have to play at that level. We have to go through Mount Hebron to win the county and go through Mount Hebron in the region."

Atholton standout

Veteran Atholton baseball coach Kevin Kelly says shortstop Steve Lombardozzi is "the best defensive player I've ever had."

Lombardozzi, a four-year starter who was named a preseason third-team Rawlings' All-American, will play at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Community College if he doesn't sign in June after the major league free agent draft.

Last Wednesday in the host Raiders' 8-1 loss to No. 6 Centennial, Lombardozzi robbed the Eagles' Alex Bechta of a hit by taking a step and suspending his body in the air to backhand the ball in the hole.Lombardozzi jumped to his feet and gunned a strong throw to first for the out.

"I know people like to talk about other shortstops in the area, but the thing that separates Steve from the rest is his work ethic," said Kelly. "I can't believe anybody works harder than Steve."

Sun staff writer Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

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