Glenelg beats Liberty, 6-5, in regional quarterfinal

Wheeler scores game-winner with 1:51 left off assist from Conway

May 16, 2010|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

The Glenelg boys lacrosse team likes to challenge itself with a tough regular season. A look at this year's schedule shows five games that were decided by one goal.

On Saturday afternoon, against a prepared Liberty team in a Class 2A-1A West regional quarterfinal, the No. 11 Gladiators made good use of those nip-and-tuck experiences.

Overcoming 19 saves by Liberty senior goalie Matt Sherwin, the Gladiators found just enough offense to go with a 12-save performance from their goalie, senior Alex Taylor, to come away with a 6-5 win in their postseason opener.

Junior midfielder Zack Wheeler provided the game-winning goal with 1:51 to play to send the Gladiators through to the semifinals.

Glenelg, the Howard County champion, improves its record to 14-2, while Liberty closes with a 9-7 mark.

Though frustrated by Sherwin's good eye and fast stick, along with instances of lethargic play, the Gladiators persevered. Sophomore attackman Zach Wynne led the offense with two goals and three assists, including a pass to his brother, Nick, who scored a key goal with one second left in the third quarter to tie the game at 4.

"We've been in a lot of one-goal games all year and we've had a couple overtime games, and I think the kids believe they're going to win every single game," Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker said. "When you go through and play Severna Park, and play Fallston, and play Spalding and then you play our county schedule, it prepares you for stuff like this because nothing is going to be easy, especially this time of year."

At the end, the Gladiators were able to get the execution on attack that was needed. Wheeler made a decisive cut through the middle before taking a pass from Brendan Conway in stride and beating Sherwin high for the winner. "It was a really great feeling — amazing. Brendan Conway's pass was right into my stick — it was really good on his part," Wheeler said.

Liberty coach Mike Fleming, whose Lions came back from a 2-0 deficit and had three one-goal leads before falling, was proud of his team's effort. Seniors Matt Rosecrans (three goals, one assist) and Kyle Miller (two goals, one assist) carried the offense to complement Sherwin's effort in the back.

"I couldn't ask more from my group of kids — the effort was there 100 percent from start to finish. We try to play righteous lacrosse — it's selfless and guilt-free, and I feel like every kid accomplished that today," Fleming said.

Goals: L — Rosecrans 3, Miller 2; G — Z. Wynne 2, Z. Wheeler, Conway, Milani, N. Wynne.

Assists: L — Miller, Rosecrans; G — Z. Wynne 3, Ricciuti, Clifford, Conway.

Saves: L — Sherwin 19; G — Taylor 12.

Half: L, 4-3

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