Glenelg throttles Atholton, 2-0, marches into state semifinals 6-7-4 Gladiators dominate, allow no second-half shots

Class 1A-2A girls soccer

November 05, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Despite his team's less than stellar record and its apparent inability to put points on the board, Glenelg coach Mike Williams stood steadfast behind his Gladiators all season, singing their praises to anybody willing to listen.

Now, many are starting to believe the hype.

The host Gladiators continued their improbable run through the Class 1A-2A playoffs yesterday, as Stephanie Howell and Christa Vent each scored goals to lead a 2-0 win over Atholton in the West Region championship game.

The two goals were more than enough for the Gladiators, who didn't give up a shot in the second half.

Glenelg (6-7-4) will make its first-ever appearance in the state semifinals at 7 o'clock Friday night at Howard High, where it will face the winner of today's East Region final between Perryville and Snow Hill.

After starting the season with two wins in its first 12 games, Glenelg has now won four out of five, including three straight playoff games by a combined score of 13-0.

"We're playing well right now," said Williams. "I told a lot of reporters earlier in the year, and it hasn't made the paper yet, I love this team. They practice hard, they're very coachable, I can make adjustments in a game. We didn't give up more than two goals all year in Howard County."

Facing an Atholton team that won one game during the regular season before pulling a major upset with a 3-2 shootout win at consensus region favorite Catoctin, the Gladiators had little trouble asserting themselves.

They outshot the Raiders, 25-3, and kept possession on the offensive end for most of the game. All the Raiders (3-11-1) could do was battle.

"We've had trouble scoring all year, and it caught up with us today," said Atholton coach Wendell Thomas, whose team had played to a 2-2 tie with Glenelg three weeks ago. "I'm really happy with the effort that they've put in, especially here of late. It was a dream come true to finish up the way we did."

Howell got Glenelg on the board with 12: 13 left in the first half, booting a direct kick from 20 yards into the left corner of the net. Vent then made it 2-0 with 11: 33 to play, scoring following a brief flurry in front of the goal.

"Since the beginning of the season we've been doing really well," said Howell.

Pub Date: 11/05/97

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