Bel Air's field hockey team saw enough strange plays Friday against Glenelg to last an entire season.
The Bobcats lost a potential goal on an apparently missed call by the officials and gained a goal on a fluke. Some would say they came up even. Others would say they came up one short.
Either way, the game ended in a 3-2 victory for Glenelg, ranked No. 10 in The Sun's Top 10 field hockey poll.
Unranked Bel Air (1-1) tied the game 1-1 briefly in the second quarter, but the Bobcats never led. Two and a half minutes after the Bobcats pulled even, the Gladiators (2-0) scored back-to-back goals in a minute and a half to snatch the lead for good.
Bel Air's trouble started in the first half. With the Bobcats surging in front of the goal, a Glenelg defender appeared to catch the ball in her hand. All the players stopped, anticipating a whistle but there was none.
"Even Ginger [Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid] said she caught it in her hand and held it to her chest," said Bel Air coach Phyllis Hemmes. "The officials said they were screened out, but the action completely stopped, so you know something happened."
Had a call been made, the Bobcats would have been awarded a penalty stroke. But action continued and the Bobcats couldn't manage to score.
With Glenelg leading 1-0 early in the second half, the Bobcats tied the game on another strange bounce.
This time, the players scuffled in front of the Gladiators' goal when the ball popped up waist high. One Glenelg defender turned toward the ball, and it caromed off her stick into the cage. Gladiator goalie Kristen Turner (five saves) didn't even see the ball coming.
The Bobcats' closest forward, Miki Schultz, got credit for the goal.
Glenelg wasted no time pulling back ahead. Heather Inkman scored her second goal on a fast break just two minutes and 39 seconds later. Lisa Roscoe quickly added another.
Bel Air got its final goal from Cathy Adams on an assist from Schultz with 15:30 left in the game.
The Bobcats kept driving to goal through the final 15 minutesbut they couldn't put the ball back in the cage. All of Bel Air's stats looked better than Glenelg's -- 12-8 advantage in shots and 8-5 in corners -- except the final score.
"It was one of those you love to hate," said Hemmes. "The kids played well. We dominated, which I didn't plan on doing, but we're still not moving the ball in the circle. It's like a golfer who likes to pick her head up to see where the ball's been hit before she hits it."
The defending Harford County champions showed some improvement over Wednesday's 3-2 double-overtime victory at Dulaney. In regulation, Dulaney outplayed Bel Air, but the Bobcats dominated in overtime.
Adams scored both goals in regulation. Aileen Wasson scored the game-winner with 55 seconds left in the second seven-on-seven sudden-death overtime period.
The offense started out quicker against Glenelg, but still lacked that final punch to the goal.
"We're not aggressive enough," said junior midfielder Amy Rafalski. "We don't hustle to the ball. We play to win, but I think a lot of us this year feel we have to carry on what's been done in the past, and that's a big load for us."