Playoff-ready Glenelg finally scales River Hill, 2-1

No. 8's win over nemesis gives Gladiators a big lift heading into postseason

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 27, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

For the No. 8 Glenelg girls soccer team, a highly satisfying 2-1 home win over No. 10 River Hill yesterday wasn't quite enough to bring home a Howard County championship in the final game of the regular season.

What the Gladiators are counting on is that the win - their first against the two-time defending county champion Hawks after nine losses - will help pay out bigger dividends down the playoff road.

While the Gladiators (9-3-2) were beating River Hill (10-4, 7-3) to finish 7-1-2 in Howard County play, No. 6 Centennial (10-1-1) had no problems in an 8-0 win over Long Reach to stake claim to the county championship with an 8-1-1 mark.

Glenelg senior Meghan Haspert, one goal away from tying the program's career mark (34 by 1982 grad Jenny Ryan) after opening the scoring yesterday, was looking more to the future than what could have been in winning the county.

The Gladiators will open their Class 2A state title chase on Monday with a 7 p.m. home game against Central from Prince George's County.

"What this gives us is a great feeling going into the playoffs, knowing we can beat a team we've never beaten before. It's awesome," said Haspert, who has 14 goals on the season.

Haspert was tightly marked as she brought the ball in the penalty area, getting just enough separation to fire a shot from 15 yards that found its way past River Hill standout senior goalkeeper Katy Hudson to the far post for a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute.

The Gladiators made it 2-0 five minutes later, getting a near-post header from Kristen Krammer off a corner kick sent in by Meghan Braun.

The Hawks, winners of six of the past seven county titles, got one goal back when freshman Janie Tankard scored 10 minutes into the second half, but the Gladiators were able to hold firm the rest of the way with senior sweeper Samantha Braun leading the defensive front.

"We needed this going into the playoffs," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan. "It was really important for us to play with this kind of intensity for all 80 minutes and be rewarded with a positive result. That's the big thing."

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