When Glenelg’s players convened on the sideline for halftime of Friday night’s showdown against Marriotts Ridge, the Gladiators’ coaches had little to say.
After a few quick words, Coach Nicole Trunzo and assistant Alex Pagnotta stepped aside, and the players formed their own huddle. Senior goalkeeper Maddie McSally called for the defenders to continue their aggressiveness when the Mustangs tried to feed players in the circle. Other players complimented one another and commended the offense for building a 9-3 lead against their rivals.
Such is the sight during most Glenelg halftimes. The coaches look on with trust that their players, the two-time defending Maryland 3A/2A state champions, have the determination and intelligence to guide themselves through any adjustments that need to be made.
“Of course the coaches can see from the sideline, but we as players see from the field,” said McSally, a Maryland commitment. “We may see something that the coaches don’t and, from our perspective, we can say what their offense is doing, or maybe the offensive captains can say what their defense is doing.”
Glenelg hasn’t had much to fix this season. Aside from Friday’s 15-10 win over Marriotts Ridge, the Gladiators have outscored three other Howard County opponents, 60-7. Despite close losses to Notre Dame Prep and No. 2 St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, Glenelg, which returns to the top three in this week’s rankings, has dominated public-school competition.
Despite Marriotts Ridge finding a way to dominate draws and possession throughout Friday’s contest, the Gladiators used efficient shooting and quick strikes in transition to take the county lead. Throughout the second half, they used a methodical approach on offense as the Mustangs posted a 6-1 run and threatened a comeback. In the final 10 minutes, Pagnotta instructed his midfielders to hold the ball until a defender brought pressure. Then, he’d often yell, “Freelance!” — a set that Glenelg runs, but one that allows his players some freedom to find open looks.
“The girls just move the ball and work together,” Trunzo said. “And whoever finishes, finishes.”
Here are this week’s rankings:
1. Bishop Ireton (10-2) Last week: 1
The Cardinals couldn’t keep pace with longtime national dynasty McDonogh in a 14-8 loss Monday.
2. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (13-2) LW: 3
In three days last week, the Saints rattled off wins over Holton-Arms, IMG Academy and Bullis.
3. Glenelg (6-2) LW: 4
In a clash of Howard County’s top teams, the Gladiators handed Marriotts Ridge its first loss.
4. Georgetown Visitation (8-1) LW: 5
The Cubs haven’t lost since their season opener — a one-goal, overtime defeat at Bishop Ireton.
5. South River (8-0) LW: 8
The Seahawks have averaged 13.75 goals per game, scoring in double digits every time, during their undefeated start.
6. Good Counsel (8-2) LW: 7
Since starting the season with two one-goal losses, the Falcons have won seven straight games.
7. Marriotts Ridge (7-1) LW: 2
Despite a late run Friday night, the Mustangs couldn’t best Glenelg’s defense in a 15-10 loss.
8. Glenelg Country (7-2) LW: 6
Midfielder Shay Ahearn, the country’s top-ranked junior, scored the game-winner in the Dragons’ 13-12, double-overtime win against Roland Park.
9. Langley (7-0-1) LW: 9
The Saxons downed Lake Braddock and Yorktown by a combined score of 42-10 this week.
10. George Mason (5-0) LW: NR
The defending Virginia 5A state champion enters the rankings ahead of matchups with Loudoun Valley and Heritage.
Dropped out: No. 10 Holton-Arms (8-3)
On the bubble: Potomac School (9-2), Madison (6-1), Dominion (6-0)