Following an undefeated season, big things are still expected from the Gladiators


by Nelson Coffin

GLENELG HIGH SCHOOL

COACH: Nicole Trunzo and Alex Pagnotta, 20-1.

TOP RETURNERS: Jenny Giampalmo (Jr., M, Yale); Rachel Scheinberg (Sr., M, Johns Hopkins); Georgia Esmond (Sr., A, Johns Hopkins); Anna Callahan (Sr., M, Duke); Maddie McSally (Sr., G, Maryland).

KEY LOSSES: Lindsay LeTellier (Davidson), Courtney Renehan (Maryland), Alayna Pagnotta (Mount St. Mary’s), Caroline Kwon (Navy).

TOP NEWCOMER: Caitlyn Baehr (Fr., M).

OUTLOOK: Considering the quality and quantity of players who graduated from last year’s 20-0 team that captured the program’s second consecutive Class 3A-2A state crown, it’s understandable why the fourth-ranked Gladiators’ 27-game winning streak was snapped in a season-opening 11-6 loss to No. 3 Notre Dame Prep.

Yet coaches Trunzo and Alex Pagnotta were not ready to give their team a free pass after the loss despite the fact that it came against a rival with four games already under its belt.

“A lot of these girls are going to play at top college programs,” Pagnotta said. “We expect a lot more out of them than they showed today.”

To be sure, there were flashes of better things to come.

For one thing, Giampalmo was dominant on draws and totaled two goals to lead the Gladiators.

She won 10-of-14 from the circle in the first half, although keeping possession was another story.

“We just didn’t take care of the ball like we should have,” Trunzo said, noting the many turnovers the Blazer defense caused.

Others goal scorers by what should become a potent offense this spring include Esmond, Scheinberg, junior Emily Nalls (North Carolina) and senior Maddy O’Brien (George Washington).

Esmond added two assists as did Callahan.

Trunzo said that junior Courtney Baehr (Davidson) and Nalls became more effective on the defensive end later in the second half.

And the coach praised Baehr’s talented younger sister, Caitlyn, for “stepping up” in her first taste of varsity action.

Pictured above: Senior midfielder Anna Callahan is hoping to help lead the Gladiators to another state championship before heading off to Duke University in the fall.