Glenelg blanks South Carroll to hit 2A title game

Apel has goal, assist to pace Gladiators, who'll face Parkside

Girls soccer

November 11, 2006|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN REPORTER

The Glenelg girls soccer team questioned just how good it was after posting an uncharacteristic 4-4-2 mark in its first 10 games this season.

With a two-goal breakthrough late in the second half of yesterday's Class 2A state semifinal against South Carroll, the No. 15 Gladiators proved themselves championship-game quality.

Senior forward Diana Apel was in on both goals, first setting up junior midfielder Rachel Dewberry in the 64th minute and then heading home an insurance goal to give the Gladiators a 2-0 win over the Cavaliers at South River High.

Glenelg improved to 10-5-3 and will face Parkside - a 1-0 winner over Loch Raven in last night's other semifinal game - next week at UMBC. A date and time has yet to be announced.

"I think our attitude of the game changed as it went. We realized there's nine of us seniors and this is our last chance," said Apel, who has nine goals and six assists. "We know we have the talent - it's just how bad we want it, and I knew somebody had to step up and get it done."

A back-and-forth game took its big turn when Apel sent a cross in from the left side to Dewberry, who saw her first shot get blocked in front but was quick to finish on a second chance. Apel put the game out of reach with less than six minutes to play, flicking home a corner kick from senior sweeper Alissa Bourne.

Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan, who said the tough early schedule may have hurt the team's confidence more than helped its development, believes the Gladiators are back on track as they go after the program's fourth state title.

"They started to believe in themselves again and I think they finally reached a point there in the last 15 minutes that they knew if they were going to believe, it had to get done," Sheridan said. "It was a question of somebody wanting to put the ball in the net. And it worked out well."

The Cavaliers, who finished the season 12-6-1, got a strong effort from senior midfielder Raeanna Simmons and a near-miss chance from fellow senior Skylar Bauer. With the game scoreless midway through the second half, she hit a direct kick from 20 yards off the crossbar that was quickly cleared by the Gladiators' defense.

"We can't let a loss like this take away from the fact we've had a very good season," South Carroll coach Jerry Janowich said. "We're real proud of these girls. They worked extremely hard all year and we lost to a very good team tonight."

Parkside 1, No. 13 Loch Raven 0 -- Sophomore forward Shelby Traum scored five minutes into the game and the Rams (17-0) protected the lead the rest of the way to advance to the state title game. The Raiders had a couple of chances to tie in the second half, but couldn't break through against a strong Parkside defense that has allowed just five goals this season. The Raiders, who got a strong game from senior forward Jennifer Rosenberger and 11 saves from freshman goalie Danielle Delisle, finished with an 11-4-1 mark and a share of the Baltimore County title with Eastern Tech.

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