Glenelg storms past Northeast for first state boys' lacrosse final four since 2014; Reif has hat trick (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS HERE!)
CLASS 3A/2A SOUTH REGION BOYS' LACROSSE CHAMPIONS
Sitting at 3-6 a few weeks ago, Glenelg High boys' lacrosse Josh Hatmaker wondered if a difficult non-league schedule was a little much for his young squad. The Gladiators have matured and are back in a familiar position.
No. 20 Glenelg defeated Northeast, 9-3, in the Class 3A/2A South Region final Wednesday afternoon in Pasadena. Sophomore midfielder Tyler Reiff had three goals and an assist, and senior goalie Brian Doughty stopped 17 shots.
The Howard County school shut down the hosts the final three quarters to win its first region championship since 2014. The Gladiators get to play in Howard County, taking on reigning state champ Frederick County's Linganore at Mount Hebron, Friday evening or Saturday afternoon.
Glenelg (12-6 overall) has won nine straight decisions since a 6-4 to Marriotts Ridge Apr. 21. The Gladiators' six losses are to teams currently ranked in VSN's Top 20 poll including reigning 4A/3A state champ and fourth-ranked Severna Park, league rival and co-No. 20 Howard (reached 4A/3A state final in 2016 and 2015) and 10th-ranked and 4A/3A final four-bound Westminster.
"We've always played a tough schedule and I think it's hurt us last year," said Hatmaker, whose team finished 6-9 last season. "We're really young but the senior leadership has really taken hold. They're starting to see that it takes a whole season, not just the first six or eight games."
"Three and six was a bad feeling. We knew we had to change something," said Doughty. "We had to keep grinding, keep working hard at practice."
Doughty, a co-captain with Noah Williamson said there was a players-only meeting a few weeks ago.
"It was disappointing because we started the year pretty hot then we came across the tougher part of the schedule. The coaches were telling us what we needed to do," said Williamson, a senior shortstick defender. "It came down to what we were willing to do ourselves."
Glenelg rolled off double-digit victories in five of its first six decisions in its surge. The western Howard County school posted three straight road wins in the region playoffs, including Centennial (had won 12 straight) and Howard league champ Marriotts Ridge.
Wednesday, the Gladiators stymied Northeast (11-7), looking for its first state semifinal berth since 2007. The Eagles led 3-2 in the first quarter after two scores from Brennan McConnell.
Glenelg gained its first lead, 4-3, on Eric Gruber's unassisted tally. Scores from Michael Lyons, Reif and Michael Doughty followed with tallies, extending the Gladiators' advantage to 7-3 at halftime.
Doughty, Williamson and the rest of Glenelg's defense shut the door, keeping Northeast scoreless the final 40 minutes. The Gladiators have allowed three goals or fewer six times during their resurgence.
Hatmaker, in his 13th season at his alma-mater, is excited his senior class will get a chance to play in the state final four - the 10th during his tenure. The Gladiators won the top prize in 2007 (3A/2A), 2008 (2A/1A) and 2011 (2A/1A).
"It's special for the kids," said Hatmaker. "A lot of work for the coaches but we love it."
"This is the way I would want to end my senior year, bringing my high school name back to the papers and showing we're still competing," said Williamson. "We're no shrinking violet."
Class 3A/2A South Region boys' lacrosse final
No. 20 Glenelg 9, Northeast 3
Goals: Glenelg - Reiff 3, M. Doughty, Gruber, Hopkins, Lyons, J. Nalls, T. Nalls; Northeast - McConnell 2, Camphouse
Assists: Glenelg - M. Doughty, Reif, Silk
Saves: Glenelg - B. Doughty 15; Northeast - Martinek 12
Glenelg 5 2 0 2 - 9
Northeast 3 0 0 0 - 3
Last Updated (Thursday, 18 May 2017 07:18)