Category: Howard Field Hockey
No. 11 Glenelg wins 2A state field hockey championship on Esmond's goal
by Adrian Martin
A year ago, Glenelg High field hockey's perfect season was ruined by Hereford. The Gladiators picked the perfect time to get payback.
No. 11 Glenelg defeated the Bulls, 1-0, to win the Class 2A state championship at Washington College. Georgia Esmond scored the game's only goal for Gladiators.
After graduating 10 seniors off last year's roster, Glenelg struggled at times during the regular season. The Howard County school (12-4 overall) got hot at the right time, denying Hereford a fourth straight championship.
"This was an awesome night," Gladiators coach Nicole Trunzo said. "They worked so hard in practice this year and got along so well. They were playing for possession in the midfield and the defense really stepped up."
The game remained at that tense one-goal separation for the entire second half, as both teams saw numerous scoring chances slip away.
The first half was a different story, as the Gladiators consistently kept Hereford (11-6) outside the scoring circle. On the other end, Glenelg kept knocking on the door with eight penalty corners, and they finally broke through.
Esmond took a quick pass from Gaby Garofolo and tapped the ball just past the scoring line before a Hereford defender cleared the ball with 5:50 left.
"I give all the credit to my teammates because it's so hard to get the ball into the goal," Esdmond said. "Gaby sent it to me and I tried to send it in quick because there were defenders everywhere."
A big reason the game remained close was Hereford goalkeeper Camryn Kelbaugh, who finished with 12 saves. The Bulls were trying to become the first area program in nearly 20 seasons to four-peat (Severna Park, 1997-2000 in 4A).
"This is her fourth state championship game, and she's very skilled in chaotic situations," Bulls coach Caitlin Duvall said. "Glenelg is a great team and we have a lot of respect for them. I'm extremely proud of our girls. We learned a lot and they have the fuel in their belly for next season."
The Gladiators survived a two-minute stretch during which Hereford got four penalty corners. The Bulls had one last chance with a corner with one minute left, but the Glenelg defense cleared the ball away once again.
The Gladiators will have a solid returning nucleus back in 2018. Saturday's title is Glenelg's first since completing a three-peat in 2012.
"Everyone wants to get here, and as long as they work hard, they'll have a chance," Trunzo said.
CLASS 2A STATE FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP