Young Glad­i­a­tors reach 3A/2A fi­nal

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - BY ERIC GOLD­WEIN eric.gold­wein@wash­post.com Kelyn Soong con­trib­uted to this re­port.

GLENELG 6, LINGANORE 4

Tyler Reiff caught Kyle Dry’s pass on the move, then raised his stick and fired the off-bal­ance, fade­away shot into the back of the cage. Af­ter net­ting the would-be game-win­ning goal in Glenelg’s 6-4 vic­tory over Linganore, the sopho­more locked eyes with the fresh­man, and the two con­nected again for a high­ris­ing chest bump.

That im­pec­ca­ble tim­ing and flaw­less ex­e­cu­tion was just what the Glad­i­a­tors (13-6) needed in Satur­day’s Mary­land 3A/2A semi­fi­nal against the de­fend­ing state cham­pi­ons.

“It’s this thing with our team. We all love each other, we’re just ready to go,” Reiff said. “We came in here with a lit­tle more in­ten­sity, and I think that’s what wound up let­ting us win this game.”

Glenelg is rid­ing a 10-game win streak into the state fi­nal against North­ern on Tues­day or Wed­nes­day at Steven­son.

Reiff, a trans­fer from Reser­voir, scored all three of his goals in the third quar­ter as Glenelg turned a tie game into a 6-3 lead head­ing into the fi­nal pe­riod.

Glenelg se­nior goalie Brian Doughty recorded 11 saves, back­ing a de­fense that stayed dis­ci­plined and kept the Lancers (17-1) at arm’s length to hold on for the vic­tory in El­li­cott City.

Though the Glad­i­a­tors are a young team, they played like an ex­pe­ri­enced group Satur­day, avoid­ing turnovers and tak­ing care of the ball. Af­ter Linganore ju­nior Jack Wat­sic notched his third goal with 7:32 re­main­ing, Glenelg drained the clock and locked down de­fen­sively to spoil the Lancers’s un­de­feated sea­son.

“At any­one time we’ll have five sopho­mores on the field,” Glenelg Coach Josh Hat­maker said. “We’re real young and we just have to kind of learn that there’s certain things we’re ca­pa­ble of, certain things we have to dial down a lit­tle bit.”

The Glad­i­a­tors went 6-9 last spring and be­gan the sea­son 3-6, but are peak­ing at the right time. On Mon­day they de­feated Mar­riotts Ridge, 11-10, on an over­time goal by sopho­more Eric Gru­ber to ad­vance to the South re­gion fi­nal, and on Wed­nes­day they beat North­east, 9-3, to re­turn to the state semi­fi­nals.

“We were 3-6, but I knew we were bet­ter than 3-6,” Reiff said. “We got the com­pe­ti­tion, we got the tough­ness un­der our belt, and that’s what set us up for this run. We knew how to play these tough games, and that’s what led us to vic­tory.”

Churchill makes 4A/3A fi­nal

The Churchill boys’ lacrosse team took down West­min­ster, 13-5, in a hard-fought Mary­land 4A/3A semi­fi­nal to earn the chance to play Sev­erna Park in the state fi­nal.

This will be the Bull­dogs’ sec­ond state fi­nal in three years.

Se­nior at­tack Spencer Knife, who will play at Tow­son next year, led Churchill (18-1) with five goals and also added two as­sists. West­min­ster fin­ished 16-2.

“We’re much more com­plete than we were two years ago,” Bull­dogs Coach Jeff Fritz said. “We’re bet­ter on de­fense and we’re just much deeper this year.”

North­ern beats Here­ford

North­ern ad­vanced to its first Mary­land 3A/2A state fi­nal with a come­back 10-8 win over Here­ford in the ear­lier semi­fi­nal at Mount He­bron. The Pa­tri­ots (17-2) over­came a two-goal deficit and scored the last four goals to de­feat the Bulls (15-4).

BY DOUG KAPUSTIN FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Churchill’s Spencer Knife (36) with Ryan Leonard, left, and Brady Alta­bello af­ter one of his five goals.

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