Artificial turf walk helps Glenelg run by Williamsport, 3-2

Gladiators hold on to win 2nd title in three season

Class 1A girls soccer

November 21, 1999|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Recently, Glenelg's girls soccer team lost the money for its athletic banquet. It turned out to be a positive.

The Gladiators (10-5-1) used the money to rent an artificial turf practice field at the University of Maryland to prepare for the Class 1A championship. That preparation paid off yesterday, when the Gladiators outran Washington County's Williamsport, 3-2, to win the title at UMBC.

The Gladiators won their second state title in three years, getting goals from Ashley Hall, Lyndsay Lewis and Katie Kirley to accomplish the feat.

"I thought both teams played well," said Gladiators coach Mike Williams. "They have done a heck of a job with their program, and we were just one goal better today."

Yesterday's game marked Williamsport's second straight trip to the state championship, and their second straight loss in the final to a Howard County team. The Wildcats, who lost to Hammond last year, had outscored their opponents, 34-1, in both the regional and state tournaments entering the game.

"We had 13 players on our varsity, and we got tired," said Williamsport coach John Weimar. "Playing on that big field didn't help, but they were bigger and faster than we were, and it showed today."

The Gladiators took the lead with 20: 21 gone in the game. Junior Jennifer Fields' corner kick found Lewis in front of a crowded Williamsport net, and her shot beat Wildcats keeper Becky Pulieri for a 1-0 advantage.

Williamsport wasted no time pulling even. Junior Brooke Weimer chipped a ball over the Glenelg defense on a direct free kick to senior Stephanie Ritchie. Ritchie beat a Glenelg defender, and her shot slipped past goalie Kelly Jones to tie the score, 1-1, with 22: 24 gone.

Glenelg regained the lead when Kirley took a cross from Hall and beat Pulieri at close range to run the score to 2-1 with 30: 27 gone in the game.

The pair also connected with just 27 seconds gone in the second half, but this time it was Kirley, who chipped a pass over a Williamsport defender to Hall. She dribbled past another defender and scored from 15 yards out to run the margin to 3-1.

Williamsport scored the final goal six minutes later on a restart, but the Glenelg defense held up for the win.

"I knew when the season started that if our backline held up, we might have a chance to be here," Williams said. "I thought we played well defensively. We really tightened it up after their second goal."

The Gladiators did a good job of shutting down Ritchie (27 goals, eight assists) and Weimar (24 goals, 27 assists), who provided most of the Wildcats' offense.

Williams said playing in the tough Howard County league prepared his team for their run at the title. "We probably haven't scored 30 goals all season because of the competition we play, but you see how that helped us tonight," he said.

Class 2A

Loch Raven 0, Middletown 0: The Raiders (14-2-2) warded off every challenge to gain a share of the state title after the two teams ended tied after overtime.

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