Marriotts Ridge soccer improves with age


October 10, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Sun reporter

The Marriotts Ridge boys soccer team learned a lot from its first varsity season last year. And that knowledge is being put to good use this fall.

The Mustangs have been the surprise team of the county and metro area, taking a 7-0-2 mark into the week and working their way up to No. 9 in The Sun's poll.

"Last year, we played very defensive to just kind of survive in games," coach Kevin Flynn said. "And from that, we learned a lot about how to defend and what it took to play at the varsity level. That's kind of where it started for us."

Playing with no seniors last year, the Mustangs went 6-10-1 with a 2-8 county mark. Flynn said the team was staying close to teams but unable to finish off games. The Mustangs' run to the Class 1A North regional title game helped change that.

"Even though our record wasn't all that good, we knew we were competitive," Flynn said. "In the playoffs, we got to play some big games."

While Josh Stover (six goals, three assists) and Phil Martinelli (five goals, two assists) have provided the Mustangs with a potent one-two punch up top, the unquestioned stalwart in back is goalie Paul Killian. The junior has recorded six shutouts and made key saves in a 3-2 win over Oakland Mills and a 3-3 tie against Mount Hebron.

"I like being under that pressure and being able to change a game," Killian said. "There's no other position quite like it, and I enjoy that."

Killian said the big difference this year is confidence. "Going into the season last year, we weren't expected to do much," he said. "Now this year, we have some seniors and the whole team is back, which made us realize we can be competitive and win games."

Glenelg hits stride

The idea the Glenelg field hockey team had at the start of the season was for its young defense to eventually catch up to its experienced offense.

These days, no defenses are catching up with Glenelg's high-octane attack.

After starting the season 0-3 against some quality out-of-county competition, the Gladiators rattled off eight straight wins going into yesterday's game at Mount Hebron. The team took a 7-0 league mark into the week, with a 7-4 win at Centennial on Oct. 2 the high mark.

"We knew we had a mature attack and kids who knew how to play together," Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said.

Anchored by goalie Courtney Knill and midfielders Susie Giampalmo and Lauren Giraldi, the defense is coming along. Aside from the four goals allowed against Centennial, it has yielded just one goal in county play.

Having the dominating offense doesn't hurt, either. The Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 halftime lead against Centennial. When the Eagles, previously undefeated in league play, answered with two goals early in the second half, Glenelg countered with three straight to go up 7-2 before bringing in its reserves.

Eagles soar in golf

After leading the Centennial golf team to its first county tournament title on Thursday, senior Chris Wellde captured the Class 4A-3A District V individual title with a round of 73 Monday at Eisenhower Golf Course. Junior Audra McShane also finished third, as the Eagles qualified for the state tournament set to start on Oct. 22 at the University of Maryland.

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