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Glenelg girls soccer advances to 2A state title game with win over Eastern Tech on penalty kicks

SILVER SPRING — Scoring goals wasn’t much of a problem for the Glenelg and Eastern Tech girls soccer teams this season, as both had 55 going into their Class 2A state semifinal game.

That changed Saturday.

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After 80 minutes of regulation and 20 more in overtime didn’t net a goal, the game went into penalty kicks. There, it was Glenelg that proved the better aim.

Brianna Warner, Symone Jenson, Stephanie Lathrop, Susie Shollenberger and Ginny Sung finished on their chances, while sophomore goalkeeper Bella Buscher made one save as the Gladiators advanced thanks to a 5-4 shootout victory at Montgomery Blair High.

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Glenelg, which is making its 11th state tournament appearance, improved to 14-2 on the season and will try for the program’s seventh title next week against Hereford, a 1-0 winner over Calvert. The state title games will take place Thursday through Saturday at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

The Gladiators’ last title came in 2008.

With both teams’ defenses not budging through 100 minutes of play, penalty kicks settled the game. Deadlocked at 4 through the first five rounds, Sung found the right corner to give the Gladiators the 5-4 advantage before the Mavericks’ chance to tie went over the crossbar.

“I’m just really proud of my team and I’m just glad I get to play with all of them out there,” Sung said. “I just think it’s how close we’ve gotten this year and I just love them.”

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Eastern Tech, which closes out the season with a 9-4-2 mark, got goals from Abigail Lee, Alexis Keller-Posen, Rehema Ngobu and Emma Koller in the penalty kick shootout.

With a roster filled with underclassmen, Eastern Tech coach Kim Williams was disappointed with Saturday’s outcome but pleased with the season and what lies ahead for her team.

“We had a heck of a season,” she said. “We’re still a little young when it comes down to it, so it was a great experience and I’m really proud of them. We have a lot of girls coming back next year, most of our starters will be back so this is experience is so important.”

The teams had a close to even share of the ball in a scoreless first half with the Mavericks creating the better scoring chances.

In the 11th minute, a poor clear from the Glenelg defense set up Mavericks junior forward Koller with goalkeeper Buscher out of the net. But Koller’s quick turn and shot from 15 yards was cleared away by senior sweeper Shollenberger.

The Gladiators’ best chance came with 8:30 to play when Jensen made a strong run inside the right edge of the penalty area, but junior back Keller-Posen did well to cleanly knock her off the ball.

The Gladiators pressed for much of the second half but weren’t able to break through.

Warner had some time and space working the left side midway through the half, but Eastern Tech goalkeeper Ellen Williams came out aggressively to thwart the chance.

The Mavericks earned a corner kick with Koller finding Jenna Appler at the far post, but her left-footed shot was cleared away by a defender with 8:30 to play.

Saves: ET – Ell. Williams 6; G – Buscher 3 Half: 0-0

Hereford 1, Calvert 0

Shari Atkins scored on a free kick from 22 yards in the 56th minute and goalie Kayla Nieberlein made six saves, including a penalty kick stop in the first half, to lead the Bulls to the state title game.

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