Coming off two emotional wins over Mt. Hebron and Marriotts Ridge, Glenelg regrouped Wednesday and clinched its first region title since 2008, defeating Atholton, 10-5, in the 3A/2A South region championship at Glenelg High School.
“Today was hard because we beat them so handily the first time, and then two emotional games with Mt. Hebron and Marriotts Ridge back-to-back like that,” said Gladiators coach Ginger Kincaid. “This was huge because even though we won those two big games, we hadn’t won any titles yet. To win today at least we have a title under our belt. If we didn’t win today we would have come away with nothing, except for bragging rights, so that’s pretty exciting that that happened today.”
Glenelg jumped out to an early 4-0 lead against the Raiders, who clinched a region final berth after defeating Chesapeake in the section II championship Monday.
Rachel Foster netted Atholton’s first goal of the game with just more than a minute left in the half, cutting the score 4-1 at the break.
The Gladiators quickly added two more in the opening minutes of the second half, as Lindsay LeTellier and Anna Callahan finished back-to-back scores within the first five minutes. Atholton answered midway through the half, as Emma Johnson found Foster who cut the deficit, 6-2.
The Raiders won most of the loose balls off the draw and earned chances on the offensive end, but unforced errors stalled its momentum and handed the Gladiators more opportunities to add to their lead. Atholton finished with 19 turnovers in the game, but still managed to contain Glenelg to just 10 goals.
“I think we gave them way too many opportunities to capitalize,” said Raiders coach Kelly McGrath. “The turnovers really hurt us. With this team, they’re going to run down and make you pay for it and they did. You got to give them credit, they’re a great team, (but) I think the turnovers definitely hurt us today… (we) probably played defense for 80 percent of the game. We did a really nice job. We practiced some stuff the past couple weeks, and holding them to 10 is pretty amazing.”
Caroline Esmond caused one of Atholton’s turnovers, picking off a pass in the middle of the field and re-starting the Gladiators offense on the other end. Courtney Renehan took advantage of the extra possession, netting her first of the day and adding to the cushion, 7-2, with 14:20 remaining.
Glenelg tacked on three more goals in the following seven minutes, getting scores from Maddy O’Brien, Renehan and Callahan to push its advantage, 10-2.
“I think the biggest key for today was focusing on just this one game and getting through this one game,” Callahan said. “We knew it was going to be a hard game. They’re very athletic team, very, very good team and we just had to make sure to keep focusing on what the key goal was to finish this game and then we can move on to the next level if we want.”
The Raiders didn’t let up and put away three more goals in the final two minutes. Emma Johnson started the run, adding her lone goal of the afternoon and then assisted on an Ashley Martin score with one minute and 30 seconds left. Foster capped it off, finishing a pass from Kelley Flynn with 31 seconds remaining to solidify the 10-5 outcome.
“You can’t be more proud of a team that’s down 10-2 and they score the last three with a minute and a half left… they have a whole lot of heart and they’re never going to give up,” McGrath said. “You can’t be more proud as a coach to see that.”
Foster led Atholton with three goals, while Johnson finished with one goal and one assist in her final game for the Raiders. Freshman Hannah Bizokas had another strong outing in net and finished with six saves.
Atholton ended the season with a 10-5 overall record and including Johnson, will also lose Meaghan Quinn, Megan Hart, KK Shepherd, Alanna Quinn and Jetta Owens to graduation. All six played a big role in McGrath’s first year with the Raiders.
“All across the board, the coaching staff, the players, we’re excited and we’re excited about the future of Atholton,” McGrath added. “What these six seniors have done and created for us is amazing. So now it’s all up from here and it’s definitely a new Atholton.”
Callahan led Glenelg with two goals and one assist on the day, while Julia Salandra, O’Brien and Renehan also added two goals apiece in the win.
“This is honestly just a once in a lifetime feeling,” Callahan said. “I’ve never felt like this way before and beating Marriotts Ridge and beating Mt. Hebron the way we did, I don’t think anything can get in our way. I think if we continue to push and push and play as hard as we did, I think there’s nothing that can stand in our way, so I’m really excited.”
The Gladiators will face C.M Wright in the state semifinal Friday night at 8 p.m. at Annapolis High School. During the regular season, Glenelg defeated the Mustangs, 9-8, on April 30.
“I don’t know what to expect. They kind of had an up and down season I think. They lost to teams that they probably shouldn’t of and then beat teams that were tough, so I don’t really know what team will come out to play against,” Kincaid said. “At this rate there is no easy games, just the pressure of being there and going to the next level – and I’m telling you, I’ve been around long enough to know a little bit of luck doesn’t hurt. The bounce of the ball, the call of the officials, you just never know and have to play through all that.”
The last time the Gladiators won a region title was also the last time Glenelg hoisted a state championship trophy.
“This team is a more balanced team than what I had in ’08. In ’08 we had some really great players… they were a very good team, but this is a much more balanced team. We can plug in people all day and that’s pretty exciting that we have so much, across the board talent with this group,” Kincaid said. “We’re not done. It’s going to be a nail-biter in the state semifinal game and then we’ll see what happens in the state final.”
Glenelg 10, Atholton 5 (Wednesday, May 18) (3A/2A South Region finals)
Goals: G – Callahan 2, Salandra 2, O’Brien 2, Renehan 2, LeTellier 1, Pagnotta 1; A – Foster 3, Johnson 1, Martin 1.
Assists: G – Pagnotta 1, Callahan 1, G. Esmond 1; A – Johnson 1, Shepherd 1, Flynn 1.
Saves: G – McSally 5; A – Bizokas 6.
Halftime: 4-1 Glenelg
Howard routs Magruder, earns second-straight region title.
The Lions clinched their second-straight region title Wednesday, handily defeating the visiting Colonels, 26-2.
Magruder won the opening draw and netted the first goal of the game, as Kelly Foster scored just 15 seconds in. But Howard took over from there. Emileigh Scott dominated in the circle winning the next seven draw controls – totaling 12 in the game – and the Lions capitalized with an 18-0 run.
Katie Schluederberg knotted up the score at the 24:31-mark, with Grace Regal following shortly after to give the Lions the initial, 2-1, lead. Howard rattled off three more goals from Kendall Wells, Katie Martin and Schluederberg, taking less than a minute off the clock. Martin added her second goal one minute later, while Jenny Kinsey netted her first of the game on the ensuing offensive possession, putting Howard up, 7-1 with 17 minutes still remaining.
Scott won the ensuing draw and Schluederberg immediately capitalized, netting her third goal of the game, while taking just 10 seconds off the clock. Wells, Martin, Ella Orzechowski, Regal, Jess Vetter and Jamie Tsao all piled onto the advantage before the halftime whistle sounded, extending the lead, 18-1, at the break.
Schluederberg led Howard with six goals and four assists. Orzechowski followed, finishing with three goals and six assists, while Wells and Regal each netted three goals, with Regal also adding two assists on the day. Sam Sagi registered two saves in the outing.
The Lions will face Dulaney in the state semifinal Saturday at 5 p.m. at Gaithersburg High School. The last time the two teams met it was on March 26 at Howard’s annual Karl Wolf Tournament. Howard let an early 6-0 lead slip away, as Delaney climbed back and took an 8-7 advantage after going on a 7-1 run in the last 12 minutes of the first half. Delaney held as much as a four-goal lead, but Howard inched back within one. However, Howard struggled gaining possession off the draw and could not put away the game-tying score, as Delaney escaped with the 14-12 win.
Howard will look to avenge that early season loss and claim a spot in the state championship game May 24 or 25 at Stevenson University. It would be the first state title appearance for the Lions in program history.
Howard 26, Magruder 2 (Wednesday, May 18) (4A/3A North region finals)
Goals: Ho – Schluederberg 6, Orzechowski 3, Kinsey 3, Wells 3, G. Regal 3, Martin 2, Keller 2, Tsao 2, Vetter 1, S. Regal 1.
Assists: Ho – Orzechowski 6, Schluederberg 4, Martin 2, G. Regal 2, Kinsey 1, Tsao 1.
Saves: Ho – Sagi 2.
Halftime: 18-1 Howard.