Glenelg topples Hammond Unranked Gladiators take 1A South region title, 2-1

November 06, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Glenelg was hoping for a third trip to the state final four. Hammond was hoping its third trip to the regional championship would end happier than its first two.

Glenelg's dreams came true last night at Howard High when the Gladiators upset the No. 9-ranked Bears in the Class 1A South region championship game, 2-1.

The Gladiators (10-6), state champs in 1992 and regional champs in 1993, will play Hereford in the state semifinals at Arundel at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow.

Hammond (10-5-1) defeated Glenelg earlier this season, 2-1, and had impressive wins over ranked teams, Magruder and Wilde Lake. The Gladiators (4-5) had lost to all six currently ranked teams it played.

But unranked Glenelg was the aggressor in the first half and stung Hammond with goals off headers in the 11th and 21st minutes. The first one, by David Harris, came off Jeremy Shry's throw-in. The second was by Evan Lawrence off a cross by Taylor Faris.

"I thought we were the better team, but we didn't show it in the first half when we failed to cover on deadballs -- corners and throw-ins," Hammond coach Rich Corkran said. "In the second half, [Glenelg] packed it in and it's tough to make up two goals."

Hammond goalkeeper Andrew Essey agreed with his coach.

"Definitely the better team lost. We weren't sharp in the first half and didn't play our passing game. On their first goal, they beat us up in the air and someone buried it. On their second goal there was a breakaway in the box and I saved a shot to my right, and then they crossed it. Both goals were well-earned."

Glenelg coach George Klisas would not permit his players to talk to The Sun. "We were the better team, we've been the better team all season, and The Sun has not given us any credit," was Klisas' only comment.

Hammond dominated the second half, and Ryan Pflugrad scored off a throw-in in the 61st minute. Hammond's Brian Pietryka had a one-on-one with Benoliel from 15 yards in the 68th minute, but his kick sailed high.

Pflugrad missed a breakaway at the 18-yard line in the 74th minute. And in the final seconds, Hammond missed two chances to tie the game from point-blank range in front of the goal.

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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