Glenelg upends Liberty in playoff, 4-1 Field hockey

November 04, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Glenelg took the first of four necessary steps to an elusive state championship yesterday, as the top-seeded Gladiators overwhelmed visiting, fourth-seeded Liberty, 4-1, in the Class 2A, Region I semifinals.

Coming off its eighth county title under coach Ginger Kincaid, Glenelg (12-1) won its fifth straight game. Friday Glenelg will play host to the winner of today's Middletown-North Carroll semifinal in the Region I championship game. The Gladiators never have won a state title.

Melanie Richardson led Glenelg with two goals, including an important insurance goal 12 minutes into the second half that gave the Gladiators a 3-1 cushion. Heather Inkman, the team's leading scorer, added a goal. Even sweeper Dana Hoffman got into the act. Her first goal of the season finished the scoring with 13:09 left.

"The best defense is offense, and we always play our defense way up," Kincaid said. "We've been telling Dana all year that she's got such a big hit, so why not use it?"

After Hoffman's goal, the Gladiators survived several rallies by Liberty (6-4-3), which wasted four penalty corner opportunities in the final 9 minutes.

"We pretty much took a rest at the end. I'm glad we didn't play that way the whole game," Kincaid said.

Glenelg's only anxious moment came late in the first half. After

Richardson scored for the Gladiators with 19:08 left -- thanks to a shot by Inkman that bounced off a Liberty player to Richardson in front of the cage. Liberty tied the score with eight minutes left on a breakaway goal by Heather Basham.

Some 6 minutes later, the Gladiators answered on a penalty corner. After Liberty goalie Holly Bilenki (five saves) made two saves at close range, Inkman followed up with a third attempt that rolled into the right corner of the cage. Glenelg led 2-1 at halftime.

"We should never have a goal scored on us on a fast break, but the kids showed their maturity," Kincaid said. "A younger player might have thought about it [the Liberty goal] or worried about it, but our senior mentality is 'This is our game.' "

The Gladiators played that way in the second half. They turned away three Liberty chances in the first 10 minutes, then put the game away.

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