Gladiators in line to win again New-look defending champs pursue another county title Glenelg 1993 high school field hockey preview

September 09, 1993|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

In a low-scoring sport in which few teams ever dominate for long, Glenelg's field hockey team certainly has ruled Howard County.

Last year, the Gladiators beat Centennial, 2-0, to seal another county title -- their eighth in 16 years under coach Ginger Kincaid. Then they went on to win their fifth regional title before dropping a heart-breaker to Chopticon in the state Class 2A semifinals.

After outshooting Chopticon, 25-5, through regulation and overtime, the Gladiators fell, 1-0, in a stroke-off. They finished the season with a 13-2 record.

Now, Glenelg's lineup is new -- every starter graduated.

For most teams, that would signal a drop back into the pack. But not for the Gladiators -- they graduated almost everyone last year, too.

"These girls didn't get much playing time, but neither did the seniors last year," said Kincaid.

"They came through a pretty solid program, so it's hard to break into the starting lineup. It's going to come down to whether that lack of playing games and experience is going to affect them. We have a good solid base and they've spent a lot of time on the field with good solid players."

Senior forwards Kristy Conway, Karen Duff, Emily Chayt and Kelly Burchett all return after seeing action a year ago.

The fact that these four haven't been starters, however, is deceptive. They've been working together since they were freshmen, so they should work together well.

In the midfield, senior Debbie West will be joined by senior Marguerite Rupississ, who played as a sophomore but took last year off.

Defensively, the Gladiators return two seniors, halfback Cindi Gasch and sweeper Jennifer Lezzari. Junior Erica Beall moves up from JV to play center back.

Two more juniors up from JV, Cari Anthony and Shannon Sneed, are battling for the other outside halfback spot.

In the goal, senior Kelly Casper and junior Jessica Horwarth probably will split time.

The Gladiators tune up for county competition with a solid slate of non-league games against Franklin, Walkersville, Spalding, Bel Air and North Carroll.

That should prepare them for the local competition.

Based on the Gladiators' recent performances, most coaches give them a slight edge in the race for the county title.

But Kincaid is prepared for a battle. She expects Centennial, Mount Hebron and Oakland Mills to be in the hunt, and she doesn't count out the rest of the league either.

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