Glenelg High field hockey coach Ginger Kincaid said the matchup with No. 1 Severna Park in the District V Championship game on Monday night did not come at a favorable time.

The Gladiators were forced to play without their second leading scorer, Kayleigh Hinkle (28 goals), who was at home sick.  The contest, held at North County High School, was played on a turf field, which Glenelg had played on just once this season in an early season loss to South River. If that wasn’t enough, they were facing the undefeated Falcons, one of the top team in the area.

But despite all of the factors against them, the Gladiators, powered by All-Metro junior midfielder Alyssa Parker, knocked off the Falcons, 2-1, to capture the District V title.

“We’ve had a really tough week or so with kids being in and out [of the lineup],” said Kincaid.  “We didn’t know until game time that we would get [defender Katie Becker] back and we just got our keeper [Christy Bishop] back.  Our second leading scorer is at home with an illness, so we’ve just been piecing it together with different kids coming in and playing.”

She added: “This wasn’t idea for us to be playing here tonight, but the kids that were here stepped up big time.”

Although the game doesn’t count toward either team’s playoff seeds, both squads wanted to walk away with the trophy. Glenelg lost to South River, 2-1, in last year’s inaugural game.

Parker scored both goals Monday for the Gladiators, who finished their regular season with a 14-1 record (11-0 in Howard County). Senior forward Madeline Ross scored for the Falcons (13-1-1 overall), who went 11-0 in Anne Arundel County to reach the District V finale.

“Their stick work is superior and we just didn’t come up to their level in this game,” Severna Park coach Lil Shelton said of Glenelg.  “We had no idea how they would play, they don’t even have turf in Howard County.”

Severna Park held the advantage in penalty corners, 16-4, with nine coming in the second half.  The Falcons also outshot the Gladiators and held onto possession of the ball longe,  but couldn’t get into an offensive groove.

Parker opened the scoring with 7 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first half after she beat a defender to the ball, carried it toward the cage and flipped it in past goalie Camile King.

“We told Alyssa that she had to play a little more selfish today because she has more assists this season than she has goals,” Kincaid said. “We told her she needed to be a little more selfish and not dish because we were not really comfortable on either side of the ball…I’m just glad Alyssa plays for me.”

Parker’s second goal came 15 minutes into the second half. Danielle Baker ran down a loose ball near the far sideline, hitting back in toward the middle of the field where Parker caught up with it.  She split two defenders, raced to the goal and fired it in.

“That second goal went in by inches,” said Parker, who scored the Gladiators’ 100th and 101st goals of the season.  “I pulled it right and I knew I had a girl right on me.  I had a split second to get the shot off and if I didn’t, the chance would be gone. I was lucky that it went in.”

Ross got the Falcons on the board after she pushed the ball past a Glenelg goalie Christy Bishop (seven saves), finishing a pass from Kelsey Fielder with 7:09 to play.

Over the last five minutes, the Falcons kept the possession but the Gladiator defense, anchored by Katie Becker (returning from a concussion) and Andrea Starinsky, made timely clears to hold onto the lead.

“Coming in, knowing that they were ranked first just motivated everyone to play their top game,” said Bishop.  “We missed Kayleigh Hinkle on attack, so that was a huge blow but having our two starting defenders in, Katie Becker and Andrea Starinsky, was great having them back in.”

Shelton told her team to remember this game, moving forward into the playoffs, which are set to begin on Thursday.

“You know how you [felt] when you walked off the field,” Shelton told her team.  “We haven’t lost and we don’t know how that feels. We did tie and I tried to liken that to losing but a tie is a tie. So this is going to get us stronger, I hope.”

The Falcons will begin their quest for a six straight state title when they host Annapolis in the Class 4A East Region quarterfinals. Glenelg begins its search of its first state championship with a home quarterfinal match with McDonough in the 2A South Region Thursday.


No. 3 Glenelg 2, No. 1 Severna Park 1
Severna Park011
Glenelg-Parker 2; Severna Park-Ross.
Severna Park-Fielder.
Glenelg-Bishop 7; Severna Park-King 2, Coletti 3.