Routing Snow Hill gives .500 Glenelg No. 1 shot Unranked Gladiators to play for 1A/2A crown

Hereford ousts Oak. Mills

November 11, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Glenelg coach Mike Williams makes no apologies.

"We're the best .500 team I know in the state," said Williams, whose team defeated Snow Hill of Worcester County, 4-0, in the first game of the Class 1A/2A state semifinal doubleheader last night at Howard High.

The Gladiators (7-7-4) will play 14th-ranked Hereford of Baltimore County in Saturday's championship at Dundalk Community College. The Bulls scored two goals within four minutes late in the second half to defeat 15th-ranked Oakland Mills, 2-1.

Glenelg is the third county team to begin the open playoffs with a losing record and advance to the state final. Oakland Mills was 3-6-2 two years ago and won six straight and the championship. Hammmond was 4-7-1 last year before losing in the final. "We've got a nice draw that's for sure," said Williams, whose team has outscored its four playoff opponents, 18-0. "But in the county, we won or tied five games. I think we've played well all year."

Glenelg, which has played seven overtime games this season, completely dominated Snow Hill. The Gladiators outshot their Eastern Shore opponent, 41-6.

Stephanie Howell scored twice and Amanda Strandquist and Kelly Renfro once for Glenelg, which led 2-0 at halftime.

The Gladiators applied pressure early, often sending the ball down the left side and delivering crosses.

"They had excellent crosses," said Snow Hill goalie Katie Hancock, who had 23 saves. "Whenever they crossed it there was a player right there. They did a good job."

Williams was pleased with his team's effort.

"We played very well except for finishing," said Williams, whose had led the team to its first state tournament appearance.

Howell scored her first goal off a nice cross by Erin Kortecamp with 25: 16 left in the first half. "I just kind of stuck out my leg and it rolled off," said Howell.

Strandquist made it 2-0 with 9: 46 left before halftime with a soaring shot from 30 yards out.

Howell scored 13 minutes into the second half from just inside the right side of the penalty box. "It was meant to be a cross and it went in," Howell said.

Renfro ended the scoring with 25: 13 left from 10-yards out in front of the goal.

The Scorpions (12-5-1) defeated Hereford 1-0 in the state semifinals three years ago and 2-0 in the state championship two years ago. And for the first 65 minutes last night the Bulls, who gave up a goal 5: 13 into the game, appeared headed for another frustrating loss.

Then it happened. Hereford (13-0-3) put relentless pressure on the Oakland Mills defense and it paid off with goals by Katie Sonnefeld with 12: 13 to play and Melissa Mueller's game-winner with 8: 17 remaining.

"They totally dominated us two years ago," said Mueller, a junior who has 24 goals this season. "We had to nail them this year."

Hereford tied the game off a throw-in from the right side. Jessica Fisher threw the ball in and it hit Sonnefeld's head and rolled toward the goal. An Oakland Mills defender tried to clear it but kicked it right back to Sonnefeld, who scored from nine feet out.

"I was just at the right place at the right time," said Sonnefeld.

"That was the big one," said Mueller. "It broke their backs and it let us score the second one."

Hereford continued to apply heavy pressure, and Oakland Mills had no answers.

"We were having trouble clearing it," said Oakland Mills senior Leslie Miller, who scored her team's goal off a corner kick by Lan Gardner. "We got lucky for a while, but it caught up with us."

Sarah Stoltz, to the left of the goal, fed an open Mueller on the right side and she sent a bullet into the net for the winning goal.

"We lost our composure," said Oakland Mills coach Steve Matters. "We did some stupid things and when you do stupid things you get burned."

Said Miller: "I'm very proud of this team. We came a long way. No one expected us to be here."

Pub Date: 11/11/97

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