Gladiators prove too much for Falcons
3-time defending 4A state champions are shut out
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.”