Glenelg rallies into 2A final

Gladiators score twice in final 4 minutes, will play in title game for 2nd time in 3 years

Glenelg 3 Winters Mill 1

Field hockey

November 07, 2006|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun reporter

Glenelg's No. 15 field hockey team proved last night that it's not how you start the game, it's how you finish.

The Gladiators fell behind in the first few minutes of the state Class 2A semifinal against Winters Mill, but they finished big with two goals in the final four minutes to clinch a 3-1 victory at Broadneck.

Kristy Black scored the game-winner with 3:50 left and Amy Thompson added an insurance goal with 26 seconds to go. The scoring finished an intense final 12 minutes for the Gladiators in an otherwise even game.

"We stepped it up, because we knew that was the most important part [of the game]. No matter what, you had to be No. 1 at the very end. We had to score some more goals," said Thompson, Glenelg's leading scorer with 16 goals.

The Gladiators (13-4-2) advance to next Tuesday night's state Class 2A final for the second time in three years. They will meet No. 14 Hereford for the title at the University of Maryland's field hockey and lacrosse complex in College Park.

Last night, No. 10 Winters Mill (12-4) took the early lead in its bid to become the school's first state championship team in its fourth season as a varsity program. Katie Jones scored 2:06 into the game on a penalty corner, driving Audrey King's corner pass into the goal from the top of the circle.

The Gladiators took just seven minutes to answer on a mirror-image play as Black scored her goal off the corner pass from Leah Cossentino.

Glenelg started taking control after a timeout with 14 minutes left in the game. The Gladiators missed three shots - two saved by Falcons goalie Gabrielle Balassone - but began to force a string of penalty corners.

Black's second goal, on the same corner connection with Cossentino came with 3:50 left. Thompson added a nifty reverse-stick goal on a pass from Kyle Evans with 26 seconds left.

For the Falcons, a young team that had won 10 straight games after starting 2-3, the quick start was just what they wanted, but they could not hold off the Gladiators' well-orchestrated plays at the end.

"They had more intensity [at the end]," said Falcons midfielder Jamie Kraft, who played a terrific game, especially defensively. "I guess we just got tired, but we played our hearts out."

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