Glenelg senior forward Amanda Yanulevich regrets only one thing about the field hockey season, that her team came up one win short of a state title.
"I wish I had the state banner in my gym more than anything else," said Yanulevich, who finished as the school's all-time leading scorer with 39 goals and 19 assists.
Glenelg (14-3-2) got its shot at a state title Monday night against Baltimore County power Hereford, falling 2-0.
Heading into the game, the Gladiators looked to put the loss to River Hill in the final game of the regular season behind them. They survived a 1-0 game with Calvert in the regional final and beat South Carroll, 3-2, in the state semifinals to earn their first title shot since 1979.
A win Monday would have also allowed Glenelg to join the 1995 Centennial team as the only Howard County teams to have claimed state field hockey crowns.
"That thought ran through my head countless times over the week, well for months actually," Yanulevich said. "The way we played against Calvert and South Carroll, it felt like, 'Wow, we've got this.' I thought this was the year."
Now, Coach Ginger Kincaid must find a way to replace all of the seniors who helped get to the title game. Jenn Cochran, Terri Coover (16 goals), Katy Narron and Carly Berron started as freshmen. Also graduating are Yanulevich, Ashley Levering (10 goals) and seven more seniors from this year's team.
"I have a lot of kids who have been with us for a long time," Kincaid said. "I've never had freshmen make varsity before, and four of these kids were freshman varsity starters. Some of these kids have been on the field all four years."
Even with all that experience, the Bulls, with accurate passing, applied relentless pressure in the second half of the state final at the University of Maryland and won nine straight penalty corners to frustrate Glenelg's defense.
"It does [get old], actually," said Glenelg goalie Caitlin O'Neill, who made several key stops during Hereford's run on penalty corners. "After a while, they keep pushing, and we keep not stepping up. That's kind of a mixture of two bad things."