After her team’s victory over Marriotts Ridge in the Class 3A/2A South Region semifinal Monday evening, Glenelg High girls’ lacrosse coach Nicole Trunzo said she felt like she aged a couple of years. For the first time this season, the Gladiators found themselves trailing in the second half against a Marriotts Ridge squad primed to end their bid at a perfection.

No. 2 Glenelg was able to scrape out an 8-6 victory over the fourth-ranked Mustangs, taking a major step towards a second straight state title. Alayna Pagnotta scored four goals for Glenelg, and Lindsay Letellier added a goal and three assists.

The Gladiators (17-0 overall) ranked fourth nationally by US Lacrosse, will host Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, Wednesday evening for a spot in this weekend’s state semifinals. Glenelg has won 24 consecutive games.

The Howard County school’s last loss came against Marriotts Ridge last regular season. The Gladiators got redemption in the 3A/2A South Section I final, paving the way to the state title.

Glenelg, which won 10-7 over the Mustangs a couple of weeks ago, knew the pressure was on it Monday.

“Coach Alex [Glenelg assistant Alex Pagnotta] and Trunzo have done a great job pushing us to our fullest, making sure we go through everything in practice so when we come to a game, it’s easy,” said Glenelg sophomore goalie Maddie McSally. 

McSally (11 saves) came up with a couple of big saves in the final minutes with Glenelg looking to close out the game after scoring three straight to reclaim the lead. Courtney Renehan’s free position strike with 11:23 left in regulation, put the Gladiators up.

Glenelg upped the lead to 8-6 as Renehan found Letellier with 6:53 remaining. Renehan, who will play for the University of Maryland next season, controlled the offensive attack for the Gladiators down the stretch.

“We wanted to stay calm and keep our composure,” said Renehan. “A lot of times, we tend to play rushed, but we slowed it down and got it done.”

McSally followed with two free position stops, keeping Marriotts Ridge at bay. Clevenger had two goals and an assist for the Mustangs, and Sullivan added a goal and an assist.

After back-and-forth opening half, Marriotts Ridge claimed a 6-5 advantage on a goal from Clevenger. The Gladiators got back even as Pagnotta got a rebound off a Georgia Esmond miss, worked around the goal and scored.

“Everyone knows it’s one and done,” said Trunzo. “The girls just had a great effort as a team.”

Class 3A/2A South Region girls’ lacrosse playoffs

Section I final 

No. 2 Glenelg 8, No. 4 Marriotts Ridge 6

Goals: Glenelg – Pagnotta 4, Giampalmo, L. Letellier, O’Brien, Renehan; Marriotts Ridge – E. Clevenger 2, Cooke, Hensh, L. Kennedy, Sullivan

Assists: Glenelg – L. Letellier 3, Esmond, Renehan; Marriotts Ridge – C. Blalock , Clevenger, Sullivan

Saves: Marriotts Ridge – Ranta 11; Glenelg – McSally 11

Marriotts Ridge 5 1 – 6

Glenelg 5 3 – 8