The Glenelg boys’ lacrosse team has made its fair share of positive memories at UMBC’s Retriever Stadium in recent seasons. The Gladiators likely won’t count the first half of Thursday’s Maryland 3A/2A final among them.

In a matchup of defending state champs, Glenelg fell into an early hole against Hereford and never fully recovered, ending another deep postseason run with a 13-8 loss. Senior Nick Wynne finished with three goals and two assists, but bogged down by a flurry of early mistakes, the Gladiators couldn’t stop the Bulls from celebrating a fifth straight state title.

“It was like a snowball effect,” said Coach Josh Hatmaker, whose Gladiators have won three of the past five state titles. “When one thing happened, then the next thing happened, and now you’re pressing and putting yourself in an even deeper hole.”

Glenelg (17-3) didn’t have the energy to match Hereford in the early going. The Bulls dominated possession and had a 3-0 lead before Wynne scored the Gladiators’ first goal in the opening minute of the second quarter.

Hereford junior Joe Seider only added to Glenelg’s troubles. The attackman consistently found gaps in the defense, scoring all of his game-high five goals in an eight-minute span to send the Bulls to halftime with a seven-goal lead.

A day after South River erased a seven-goal deficit to win the 4A/3A title, Wynne led Glenelg’s own comeback bid. The Towson commit scored twice in the final 26 seconds of the third quarter and set up senior Glenn Lucas’s goal four minutes later that pulled the Gladiators to 9-7.

“We just cut down the mistakes,” said sophomore goalie Landry Marshall, who had 11 saves. “First half, it was all mental mistakes, and they were scoring goals. If you give them those opportunities, they’re going to score.”

But the Howard County champions couldn’t sustain the momentum. Sophomore Jason Ashwood (four goals) scored the next two for Hereford to stymie the rally.

Glenelg, which won the 2A/1A title last spring before being reclassified, also got two goals apiece from juniors Mark Darden and Mikey Wynne.

“The goal is to be the people that beat [Hereford],” Hatmaker said. “We didn’t do it this year, but as I told several of the kids, we’ll be back.”