[Baltimore Sun] Glenelg girls lacrosse rolls to first state title since 2018 with 13-3 win over Queen Anne’s in 2A final

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Fresh off Saturday’s landmark win over Manchester Valley, the Glenelg girls lacrosse team came full throttle into Tuesday’s Class 2A state championship game against Queen Anne’s, prepared to ride or die with its fast-paced, aggressive style of play.

“We knew … it was going to be all or nothing,” goalie Emily Altshuler said. “And that just fueled our fire.”

By game’s end, that fire had exploded into a raging inferno for the Gladiators, who got three goals each from seniors Kamryn Henson and Maggie Metz and seemingly took the ball at will from the overmatched Eastern Shore power in a 13-3 win at Stevenson University, giving the Gladiators their first state title since 2018.

Hoisting the championship trophy was a particularly sweet moment for Glenelg’s 10 seniors, who had endured three straight close losses to Carroll County teams in the regional finals before finally clearing that hurdle and topping previously unbeaten Manchester Valley, 6-4, in last weekend’s state semifinal.

“It means so much, especially after losing by one every single year,” Altshuler said. “Finally being able to defeat a Carroll County team and come together for our senior year. … To bond with everybody on our team and finally make this our moment was so special for us, and it really makes every second that we put into this team count.”

“All we kept saying was, ‘Win every individual quarter. Give everything you have for each individual quarter,’” Henson said. “It isn’t like ‘This might be your last time. This is the last time.’”

The title was the fifth overall for Glenelg (18-1), whose only loss came in early April to Severna Park, itself a state finalist in Class 3A.

This one was a no-doubter.

Glenelg dominated from the outset, with sophomore Kelsey Berry helping her team win four of the game’s first five draws and the Gladiators scoring two goals in the game’s first 1:01 before running out to a 4-1 lead after the first 8:24. By halftime, the lead had ballooned to 8-2.

“Oh my god, it felt amazing,” Henson said of the lead after years of agonizing playoff losses. “Normally it’s back and forth or the other team is up those five goals that we were up.”

Glenelg’s Kamryn Henson, right, celebrates her goal against Queen Anne’s in the first quarter of Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

Glenelg’s Maggie Metz, left, shoots past Queen Anne’s Taylor Brown to score in the first quarter of Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

Glenelg’s is Kamryn Henson, left. gets past t hr defensive effort by Queen Anne’s Faith Novak, right, to score in the second quarter of Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

Glenelg’s Emmy Dello Russo, right, scores against Queen Anne ’s goalie Maddie George, left, in the second quarter of Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

Glenelg players celebrate with championship trophy after defeating Queen Anne’s 13-3 to win Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

Glenelg’s Ava Karbacka, right, shoots against Queen Anne’s Ava Fields in the fourth quarter. Glenelg defeated Queen Anne’s 13-3 to win Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

Glenelg players celebrate after defeating Queen Anne’s 13-3 to win Class 2A state girls lacrosse championship at Stevenson University. (Kenneth K. Lam/Staff)

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The Gladiators’ defense made certain that cushion not only remained, but grew larger.

Led by seniors Lara Hoeflich and Ava Rivera, and juniors Reilly Kelleher, Madelyn Renehan and CeCe Cassity, Glenelg’s defense time and again forced turnovers, seldom letting Queen Anne’s (15-3) — which had scored at least 15 goals eight times this season — get clean shots at the net.

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“They play very high-pressure defense,” Lions leading scorer R.J. Ensor said. “They’re quick, they’re fast, they move their feet, they cut off people, and I think it’s their teamwork together. I can hear them talking to each other the whole time … back and forth, back and forth. Who’s sliding, who’s cutting and when. It’s pretty impressive.”

“Our communication is just what allows us to know all the slides,” Hoeflich said. “And it’s high pressure, which doesn’t allow them to set up an offense and doesn’t allow them to drive. So it’s just constant stops and we play at such a fast pace.”

Ensor, who entered the game with 65 goals and 59 assists, finished with just a goal and an assist.

Meanwhile, Glenelg’s offense continued to capitalize, turning takeaways into offensive chances at the other end. Sophomore Emmy Dello Russo and junior Kayleigh White added two goals each for the Gladiators, while sophomore Regan Kelleher finished with a goal and three assists.

“They are a high-momentum team. When they get going, they get going,” Ensor said. “We just want to get to that level. We play all the Bayside competition, but coming over the bridge is way different.”

Class 2A state final

(at Stevenson)

Glenelg 13, Queen Anne’s 3

Goals: QA — Ensor, Klepper, Brown; G — Henson 3, Metz 3, Key 2, Dello Russo 2, White 2, Kelleher.

Assists: QA — Ensor, Pinder; G — Kelleher 3, Metz.

Saves: QA — George 5, Dulin 1; G — Altshuler 2.

Half: Glenelg, 8-2.

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