Hereford High boys’ lacrosse squad played from behind in the first half of Saturday’s Class 3A/2A state semifinal against Calvert County’s Northern. The Bulls overtook Northern in the third quarter, and appeared destined for another trip to the state finals.
Instead, they became an unwilling participant to history. Northern-Calvert rallied past the No. 12 Bulls for a 10-9 victory at Mount Hebron.
Glenelg will have an opportunity at a title sweep as the No. 20 Gladiator boys dethroned Frederick County’s Linganore while the girls continued their repeat bid with a 25-2 rout of Oakdale. In an all-Carroll County semifinal, No. 8 Century defeated Liberty, 15-8, in a 2A/1A girls’ state semifinal.
Duquesne University recruit Michaela Connolly had five goals and three assists for the Knights, and Grace Bruce and Julia Hatmaker each added two goals and an assist. Grace Griffin, who will play for Maryland next spring, posted a game-best six goals for Liberty.
In a game that was stopped late Friday evening. after the last of several lightning delays as well as a power outage at Northeast, Century finished the job in Ellicott City, earning a trip to Owings Mills and Stevenson University for the state championship game. The Knights will play Fallston for the crown Wednesday at 6 p.m.
No. 17 Fallston defeated Queen Anne’s in the other state semifinal Saturday at Northeast. Century, which won last won a title in 2015 (Class 3A/2A) will try to extend Carroll County’s hold of 2A/1A crown. Manchester Valley won the previous three titles and Winters Mill claimed the 2013 championship.
It’s down to one game for No. 2 Glenelg’s girls, who extended their win streak to 26 games. Duke University commit Anna Callahan finished with five goals and two assists and Courtney Renehan also scored five goals.
Nine players scored for the Howard County champs, who rolled Oakdale (14-1 final) in last year’s state final at Stevenson University.
The Gladiators (19-0) didn’t take the rematch for granted.
“I feel like there’s a different type of pressure because we’re going out on the field with a target on our backs,” said Callahan, a junior. “Last year, we were kind of the underdogs. I’ve enjoyed playing with a target because it make the games more interesting.”
Saturday’s game wasn’t remotely interesting after the opening draw as Glenelg induced a running clock with 11 minutes left in the opening half. The Gladiators led 16-1 at intermission.
Glenelg assistant coach Alex Pagnotta said it all started with the midfield unit of Callahan, Renehan, Leeann Duncan, Jenny Giampalmo, Rachel Scheinberg and sophomore Olivia LePage.
“If they did missed a pass, playing that game speed all the time in practice, they were right back down, getting the groundballs,” said Pagnotta.
The Gladiators will try to complete perfection Tuesday against C. Milton Wright at Stevenson University. No area girls’ public team has posted an undefeated campaign since Severna Park (20-0) in 2008.
“We just have to go out and focus like it’s a whole new season,” said Callahan.
Unlike its’ girls counterparts, Glenelg’s boys have been somewhat under the radar, especially with a losing record a few weeks ago. The Gladiators continued their resurgence, ending Linganore’s championship reign.
Sophomore Tyler Reiff scored three goals for Glenelg (13-6), and Tyler Nalls added a goal and an assist. Jack Watsic recorded a hat trick for Linganore.
The Gladiators used Reiff’s third goal explosion and tenacious defense in the fourth quarter, extending their win streak to 10. Glenelg will play Northern-Calvert for the state title.
Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker was nearly in tears after his team ended Linganore’s 33-game winning streak.
“The kids really played their butts off,” said Hatmaker. “I said to someone last night, coaching is planning and playing is carrying it out and I thought they did it to a T. It’s an incredible feeling.”
It’s the first state title game appearance for Glenelg since 2013. Though competitive, the Gladiators were sitting at 3-6 last month.
“Eventhough we had a tough schedule, we weren’t playing our game,” said Reiff. “I think a couple of games against easier teams got us into a rhythm.”
Reiff was an one-man momentum swing, dropping a hat trick in the third quarter, giving Glenelg a 6-3 advantage. The Lancers got an extra-man tally to pull within 6-4 with 7:32 left in regulation, but the Gladiators’ defense tighten.
“We started rough, we weren’t sliding,” said Glenelg senior longstick Connor Stanley. “We started sliding earlier, started communicating and came up with big turnovers.”
Hereford, looking to return to the state final, was thwarted again in the semifinal round. Braden Sellner scored five goals for Northern, and Brandon Sulhoff added three goals and an assist.
The Patriots scored the game’s final four goals, becoming the first team from the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference to play for a state title. Northern-Calvert will play Glenelg in the final, Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Stevenson University.
After a run of seven straight finals (won six titles), Hereford lost in the state 3A/2A round of four for the third consecutive spring.
“They played great, we played great,” said Hereford coach Sal Picataggi. “I think their goalie maybe was the difference. We had a lot of inside shots and he made some really good tight saves.”
Northern goalie Darryl Walker came up with 10 of his 16 saves in the second half. Trailing 6-5 at half, Hereford got two goals from JD Nozemack and a strike from Andrew Clark to gain its first lead.
Sulhoff tied the game with 5:09 left, and Sellner got a loose ball and put it back into the net, giving Northern-Calvert the lead with 3:38 remaining in regulation. The Bulls had a couple of chances in the final minutes, but were unable to convert.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Hereford senior faceoff specialist Joey Chestnutt. “We were able to come back and take the lead, but weren’t able to hold it. It was a shot to the gut.”