Gla­di­a­tors prove too much for Fal­cons

3-time de­fend­ing 4A state cham­pi­ons are shut out

Baltimore Sun - - VARISTY - By Bob Hough

Anne Arun­del County is quickly find­ing out what those in Howard County al­ready know: Glenelg is a qual­ity field hockey pro­gram.

The No. 5 Gla­di­a­tors, who shut out South River last week in the first night of games be­tween the coun­ties, added a 3-0 vic­tory over three-time de­fend­ing Class 4A state cham­pion and No. 9 Severna Park on Tues­day at Kin­der Farm Park. Glenelg (4-0) scored all three of its goals in a 10-minute span in the first half.

“This is one of the best teams I’ve seen,” said Severna Park as­sis­tant coach Amy McKusky, fill­ing in for head coach Ann An­drews, who had an­kle surgery Mon­day. “They have great stick­work and they’re fast. They were con­nect­ing their passes, and that’s just not what we were do­ing to­day.”

Glenelg, which plays in the Class 2A East Re­gion, had its streak of seven straight re­gion ti­tles ended last year. The Gla­di­a­tors have been in the state semi­fi­nals 17 times and won state cham­pi­onships in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Lind­sey Letel­lier opened the scor­ing for the Gla­di­a­tors 17 min­utes into the first half. Gabby Rachuba fol­lowed with a goal seven min­utes later, and Kathryn Hoff­man scored with four min­utes left in the half to give the Gla­di­a­tors all the goals they would need.

“It’s hard be­cause we re­ally don’t know what to ex­pect,” said Glenelg coach Ni­cole Trunzo, who’s en­gaged to Severna Park foot­ball coach Will Bell. “We­knowhow­good these teams are and how hard they work, so we’re just tak­ing it one game at a time and work­ing hard in prac­tice.”

Glenelg ap­plied pres­sure from the be­gin­ning and at­tempted four of the five penalty Glenelg play­ers cel­e­brate a goal. The Gla­di­a­tors have outscored their four op­po­nents 15-1. cor­ners in the first half. The Gla­di­a­tors had three more in the first 10 min­utes of the se­cond half, but Severna Park’s Mal­lary Sel­lars and Ash­ley Giard made solid de­fen­sive plays to clear the cir­cle.

The Fal­cons were able to mount some pres­sure in the se­cond half. Kaylin Craine made a nice stop on Hunter Chad­wick mid­way through the half, then was forced to make an­other tough stop five min­utes later on El­lie Schep­ens. The Fal­cons did force three penalty cor­ners in a five-minute span of the se­cond half, but the Glenelg de­fense was able to clear each time.

Glenelg, which also has beaten West­min­ster and Bryn Mawr, has outscored its four op­po­nents by a com­bined 15-1. The Gla­di­a­tors will host Broad­neck on Tues­day and will play at Arun­del on Sept. 27 be­fore play­ing a Howard County-heavy sched­ule the rest of the way.

Be­cause of the new sched­ul­ing ar­range- ment with Anne Arun­del County, Howard County has in­sti­tuted a tiered sys­tem in which teams are grouped to­gether based on the pre­vi­ous year’s records.

“Now that we’re in this tier, it’s tough every game,” Trunzo said. “There’s so many strong teams, so we just take it one game at a time and hope­fully ev­ery­thing comes out pos­i­tive.”

Tay­lor Aguilar stopped 11 shots for the Fal­cons. Severna Park, which played Mar­riotts Ridge to a score­less tie last week in a game cut short by weather, still has games against Howard County teams Atholton and Mount He­bron.

“We’re a bet­ter team be­cause we played them to­day,” McKusky said. “We­have a lot of things to work on, but as I just told them, this was a step­ping stone.”

MATTHEW COLE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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