Hundreds of girls have put on the Glenelg High School field hockey uniform since the sport began at the school in 1959. And after her performance in a Sept. 11 tournament game against Magruder, senior forward Amanda Yanulevich can put her name at the top of that list.
Yanulevich, 17, who earned All-County honors last season in leading Glenelg to a region championship, scored twice in a 4-0 victory that day, setting school records for most career goals and points. Yanulevich has scored 35 goals in just over two years on the varsity -- she played on JV as a freshman -- surpassing Julie Heneberry's mark of 33 set in the 1980s. Add to that an impressive 45 assists, and her 80 career points puts her two ahead of former record holder Elizabeth Narron, who played from 1997 to 2000.
"I stay up front [in our offense]. That's my job, to score goals," said Yanulevich, who tallied a Glenelg single-season record 20 last fall. "If I don't, I didn't do my job."
Entering the week, she has tallied six goals and three assists for Glenelg (4-1-1).
Yanulevich's scoring prowess helped Glenelg win the Howard County championship last season. But after claiming the 2A West Region crown, Glenelg came up short in its quest to claim the school's first state field hockey title, falling to Rising Sun, 2-1, in the semifinals.
Glenelg has not reached a state championship game in Ginger Kincaid's 26 seasons as head coach, although the squad did make the final (but lost) three times in the early 1970s under then-coach (and now assistant) Liz Brigham. For Yanulevich, the records are secondary; she's playing for that trophy the second week in November.
"I'd give up both" records to win a state title, she said. "I don't care who scored as long as someone did and we all played great. If we win states, that means we all played great."
Three days after Yanulevich set the scoring record, former record holder Narron, who went on to play college hockey at Towson, showed up to surprise Yanulevich with a cake. It said "Congrats" on it.
The two have known each other for years; Yanulevich and Narron's sister, Katy, are good friends and teammates.
"That was cool. That made my day," Yanulevich said.
Glenelg's route to the state championship in Class 2A was made a bit easier at the start of last season, when Bethesda-Chevy Chase, one of Maryland's most dominant field hockey programs (it has won 12 state titles), moved to 3A. It was B-CC that knocked off Glenelg in the region final when Yanulevich was a sophomore.
And Glenelg's best chance in recent memory to win a title may be this season. Thirteen seniors are back from last year's team, including All-County midfielders Katy Narron and Jen Cochran and standout defenders Bailey Sheridan and Carly Barron. The only question mark come playoff time may be in goal. All-County keeper Aly Blum, who allowed only six goals last year, did not return. Caitlin O'Neill is in her first year on varsity after two years on JV, but she has already posted three shutouts.
A field hockey player since sixth grade, Yanulevich is what you might call a natural athlete. She's also an All-County second baseman for Glenelg's softball team, which has won region and county titles the past two years.
She honed her earliest stick skills on the hard, smooth floor of a meeting room at Calvary United Methodist Church in Mount Airy. When Yanulevich and Katy Narron were about 12, Katy's dad, Jim, who started an under-14 youth league, would take the pair there on Tuesdays after school to practice their skills with Kincaid's daughter, Kristi. Over the years, Yanulevich has acquired not only the ability to score goals, but to set them up, too.
"An assist is good because you're a smart player, and you think, and you're not greedy," Yanulevich said. "You just give it up for the team."