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Howard County girls lacrosse notebook: Week 6

Howard County girls lacrosse notebook: Week 6

There is only two days left of the regular season and teams are shaping up for playoff time. With Marriotts Ridge staying perfect in county play and Howard pulling off a huge upset over Mt. Hebron, it leaves room for the Mustangs to win this year’s county championship crown if they go ahead and defeat the Vikings Friday. On the private school side, Chapelgate is playing some of its best lacrosse, currently on a two-game winning streak, while Glenelg Country remain undefeated and are primed to take home another IAAM B crown.

 

The weeks top performers:

Colleen Dudley, Long Reach: the senior attacker helped her team earn their first win of the season on May 2 against Oakland Mills, but she has been a huge part of the Lightning’s offense all season. Dudley scored a season-high nine goals – the most any individual has notched all season, in the 18-7 win over the Scorpions.

Rachel Foster, Atholton: it’s been a prolific week for the junior attacker. She started it off with a six-goal performance against Winters Mill on May 2, scoring the game winner in overtime against the Falcons. Foster then backed up her stellar performance with another strong outing against Wilde Lake the following afternoon, finishing with five goals and one assist, while also notching her 100th career goal.

Jenny Kinsey, Howard: the junior midfielder has played a key role all season for the Lions, but her goal against Mt. Hebron was maybe the biggest highlight of the season, which cemented Howard’s first ever win over the Vikings. Kinsey officially ended the afternoon with one goal and two assists, while in the Lions’ previous matchup on April 27 against River Hill, Kinsey added to her yearly totals, finishing with three goals and one assist.

 

Team by team breakdowns:

Atholton: the Raiders are playing its best lacrosse at the perfect time with just one more game left of the regular season. Atholton has won four straight after earning wins over Long Reach, Winters Mill and Wilde Lake this week. None bigger than its come-from-behind overtime victory against the Falcons on May 2. The Raiders have rolled through their opponents, but had yet earned a statement win against a top-tier talent as their three losses have come against Glenelg, Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron. Atholton trailed Winters Mill by two at the break and were down by as much as four through the second-half. But the Raiders settled in and worked their way back. It was a solid team effort all around. After knotting the game up at 10, Atholton’s defense stepped up big and held the Falcons scoreless while playing with a man-down during the first few minutes of overtime. Kelley Flynn earned the Raiders a free position on the offensive end and found Rachel Foster open near the crease. The junior put away her sixth goal of the game to clinch the victory. (STOCK: UP)

Centennial: Despite the Eagles below average overall record, they have been playing well in their last few outings. They narrowly handed visiting Mt. Hebron its first county loss of the season April 28, falling just short, 8-7. Centennial executed its game plan perfectly, winning the majority of the draw controls, especially in the first half and taking its time on the offensive end, totaling multiple two-plus minute possessions. The Eagles led going into the half, but the Vikings found a few more offensive possessions in the second half and pulled off the win. Centennial then backed up its terrific performance with a dominating win over Oakland Mills on May 3, holding the Scorpions scoreless in the, 18-0 victory. (STOCK: UP)

Glenelg: The Gladiators were rolling into their May 3 matchup against Marriotts Ridge with a four-game winning streak. But they came out flat against the Mustangs, falling behind by as much as seven midway through the second half. Sophomore goalie Maddie McSally kept Glenelg in it early, making some clutch saves that kept the score just 4-1 at halftime. The Gladiators only managed two shots on net in the first half, but found their groove offensively and rattled off four straight goals to get within one in the last 15 minutes of the game. But the hole proved too deep to overcome and with time ticking down, Glenelg couldn’t complete the rally. The Gladiators will have a tough road through the playoffs, but have the talent to get through it if they play with the confidence they showed in the second half against the Mustangs. (STOCK: UP)

Hammond: the Golden Bears have had one of the most successful seasons in some time. They’ve won six games thus far this season and if they defeat Long Reach Friday in their regular season finale, they will match its win total from the past five seasons combined. Senior Zoe Pekins and freshman Jane Ridgell continue to lead the way on both ends of the field. Hammond went into its matchup against Reservoir on May 3 touting a three-game winning streak, defeating Oakland Mills twice and North County. It was a dominating performance against the Scorpions the second time around, as Pekins tallied eight goals and four assists on her Senior Night, while Ridgell finished with five goals and two assists in the 20-7 victory. Despite losing its next contest against Reservoir, the Golden Bears have still positioned themselves with a decent seeding for playoff contention. (STOCK: UP)

Howard: Despite suffering a few losses throughout the season, the Lions have established themselves as one of the best in the county with another statement win, this time against Mt. Hebron. Howard handed the Vikings their first county loss of the season after the 10-9 overtime victory. It was the first time the Lions had ever defeated Mt. Hebron in program history. Howard controlled most of the game and led by three at the break, but Mt. Hebron is a resilient team that has proven no deficit is too big. The Vikings rallied back to force extra time, but Jenny Kinsey put an end to the come-back netting the game-winning sudden death goal, with Ella Orzechowski registering the assist on the play. The Lions head into their season finale against Atholton winning seven of its last eight games. (STOCK: UP)

Long Reach: the Lightning have been searching for their first win all season and watching them play, it is surprising that they haven’t won before their May 2 matchup against Oakland Mills. Long Reach started the game fast – something it struggled with throughout the season – and jumped out to a 6-0 run en route to an 18-7 win. Seniors Colleen Dudley and Jackie Reed led the way, combining for 15 goals and one assist. Dudley couldn’t be stopped on the offensive end and Reed dominated on the draw circle, winning the majority for the Lightning. Long Reach suffered a loss to River Hill in its following outing, but will look for its second victory of the week Friday in its season finale against Hammond. (STOCK: UP)

Marriotts Ridge: the Mustangs suffered their first loss of the season April 30 against McDonogh, but gave the Eagles a tough fight, closing the game within three late, but ultimately McDonogh stalled for the final 10 minutes and escaped with the 13-8 win. Marriotts Ridge bounced back May 3 on Senior Night against Glenelg, storming out to a 4-1 halftime lead. Marriotts Ridge led by as much as six in the second half, and was highlighted by its stingy defense, which caused numerous turnovers throughout the game. Glenelg tightened the gap, however, climbing back and getting within one, but the defense stepped up big in the final minutes to preserve the lead. Freshman Olivia Ranta made a huge save on a free position with a little more than two minutes left to keep Marriotts Ridge’s lead to two. The Mustangs stayed perfect in county play after the 9-7 victory and with a win over Mt. Hebron Friday, they will win the county championship out-right. (STOCK: UP)

Mt. Hebron: The Vikings didn’t have the best week, as they narrowly came away with a win over Centennial April 28 and then suffered their first county loss of the year against Howard May 3. Mt. Hebron overcame an early deficit over the Eagles, as Centennial’s game plan of keeping the ball out of the Viking’s sticks worked to perfection. They needed a solid second half and claimed more balls off the draw and pulled out the 8-7 win. Against the Lions, Mt. Hebron fell behind early once more, climbing back to finally knot up the game in the last six minutes of regulation. This time the Vikings couldn’t pull off the rally and fell in overtime. They can still claim a share of the county title with a win over Marriotts Ridge Friday, which would mark Mt. Hebron’s 24th county championship in its 28-year history. (STOCK: EVEN)

Oakland Mills: The Scorpions have seen their offense take off in the past few games, notching seven goals in both outings against Hammond and Long Reach, but unfortunately was held scoreless in their most recent matchup against Centennial on May 3. Oakland Mills has improved immensely since the beginning of the season, getting great production from senior Morgan Carroll, junior Leah Roberts and freshman Hannah Smelkinson, while defensively, its been a good team effort all around. (STOCK: EVEN)

Reservoir: the Gators are rolling through their last week of the season, cruising on a four-game winning streak with dominating victories over Long Reach, Oakland Mills, Wilde Lake and Hammond. Reservoir ends its season with a huge matchup against Glenelg Thursday. The Gators have the talent to challenge the Gladiators, who they also might see in the postseason, but they will need to bring not only the confidence they’ve been building through their winning streak, but also the balanced attack that they’ve showed and their consistent play defensively as well. (STOCK: UP)

River Hill: the Hawks were in a rough stretch as of late, losing their last six games before defeating Long Reach in their latest matchup on May 3. It was River Hill’s toughest part of the schedule, as its losses came against the top teams in the county in Atholton, Mt. Hebron, Howard and Glenelg. But the Hawks started the month strong with a convincing 15-4 victory over the Lightning. They end their season with a big matchup against Centennial Friday. (STOCK: EVEN)

Wilde Lake: The Wildecats got a huge win against Glen Burnie on April 29, but suffered back to back losses to the hands of Reservoir and Atholton. In both outings, Wilde Lake struggled with possession, which in turn, limited their chances on offense. The Wildecats combined for just nine goals in those games. When they’ve had the chances, they’ve put goals away, but as of late have been playing a lot of defense and putting a lot of pressure on standout goalie Jenna Oler to make 10-plus saves in each game. As of now, Wilde Lake is still is in decent position to claim a solid seed in postseason play, but will need to claim more loose balls and do a better job getting the ball on the offensive end if they want to make a strong playoff run. (STOCK: EVEN)

Chapelgate: the Yellowjackets are peaking at the right time with the IAAM C playoffs coming up. They’ve won their last two games, coming against Catholic and St. Tim’s – two teams that beat them earlier in the season. They’ve been in every single game this year and are finally finding ways to win, making them a dangerous team once its starts heading into one-and-done games in the postseason. Chapelgate is more than capable of making a strong playoff push. (STOCK: UP)

Glenelg Country: the Dragons were given their two toughest tests this past week, as they escaped with wins over St. Peter and Paul and Mercy. The Magic have tried to get the best of Glenelg Country the past three outings, but have fallen short each time. Their most recent matchup on April 29, Mercy nearly handed the Dragons their first loss, but Glenelg Country pulled out the 10-9 victory. It was the lowest scoring mark of the season for the Dragons, but defensively they are so sound and easily have the best defense in the IAAM B conference. They backed up those wins with two more victories over Indian Creek and Park. Glenelg Country is the favorites to go unscathed through the postseason and earn their second consecutive IAAM B crown. (STOCK: UP)

mdippolito@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/@MonicaDIppolito

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