Glenelg’s field hockey team, ranked No. 3 in the latest Varsity Sports Network Top 20 poll, defeated No. 16 Howard in its the last regular season, 8-0, on Wednesday afternoon.
The visiting Gladiators clinched the Howard County title on Tuesday after beating Centennial, 5-1, but coach Ginger Kincaid knew her team still had to play hard against the Lions, were in second place in the league.
“Even though we clinched the county yesterday, we wanted to put an exclamation point on it,” said Kincaid. “I feel like we had a challenge today and I knew that [Howard] was a very good team that was sitting in second place.”
Glenelg has now won four of the last five county titles and three straight. With the win, the Gladiators improved to 13-1 overall and 11-0 in the league, while Howard dropped to 10-3 and 7-3 respectively.
Senior Kayleigh Hinkle and junior Alyssa Parker, both team captains, each scored three goals for Glenelg. That moves the season goal totals to 28 for Hinkle and 29 for Parker.
Junior Meagan Guthrie and freshman Stephanie Asher each added a goal. Parker also had three assists while Guthrie and sophomore Emily Russo each had one.
“Our team this season is really solid because we connect really well,” said Parker. “The biggest thing is that we’re all so fired up and we work so well together.”
Guthrie scored just four minutes into the game when she finished off a pass from Russo. Hinkle scored back-to-back goals, both assisted by Parker, to push the Gladiator lead to 3-0 with over 13 minutes left in the half and they never looked back.
Lions goalies Lani Sasser and Nicole Snyder combined for eight saves but Glenelg kept attacking and finished on a lot of its chances. Howard finishes its regular when it plays Oakland Mills tomorrow.
Gladiators’ goalie Christy Bishop missed the last three games due to an illness but returned against the Lions and made six saves. As a team, Glenelg has surrendered just seven goals to county opponents while scoring 86 goals.
“I love my defense, we’re really close,” said Bishop, who credits players like Andrea Starinksy and Katie Becker among others. “We always do stick checks after each goal.”
The Gladiators’ lone loss of the season came on a 3-2 overtime decision to then-No. 2 South River on Sept. 11.
“South River was a really good team,” said Parker. “They had a really good defense and it was early in our season, so we were still working out some things. I think we’ve improved since and we’ve learned a lot from that game.”
Glenelg will travel to North County High School in Glen Burnie on Monday to square off with No. 1 Severna Park for the District V Championship, which pits the top teams from Howard and Anne Arundel counties. South River beat the Gladiators, 3-1, last season in the inaugural game.
“I love the challenge of the District V game,” Kincaid said. “One of our goals every season is to get to that game because it prepares you for the playoffs. We have the chance to go back on turf where we started the season, so we’re excited for that.”
She added: “We’re not afraid of Severna Park. We will have to do a little bit of adjusting because I don’t know if we will have all of our players back [from injury] but we’re excited for the game.”
CLICK ON RELATED VIDEOS TAB ABOVE FOR GAME HIGHLIGHTS
|No. 3 Glenelg 8, No. 16 Howard 0|
G-Hinkle 3, Parker 3, Guthrie, Asher.
G-Parker 3, Guthrie, Russo.
G-Bishop 6; H-Sasser 6, Snyder 2.