CHESTERTOWN, Md. — Glenelg sophomore forward Megan Taylor dribbled through the Poolesville defense, left a perfect touch pass for senior forward Danielle Baker and watched as Baker scored into an open net.
The two-time defending state champion Gladiators fell behind early in the Maryland 2A field hockey championship game Saturday at Washington College, but when Baker scored her picturesque goal to give them their first lead with 9 minutes 47 seconds to play in the first half, another state title started to feel inevitable.
Glenelg (17-1) scored five unanswered goals, and the 2A East champions beat Poolesville, 5-1, to win their third consecutive state championship and second straight title game against the 2A West champion Falcons (14-2).
Taylor and Baker each had a goal and two assists to lead the Gladiators, who ended the season on a 17-game winning streak.
“We had to figure out how to come back,” Taylor said. “We came up here pumped and ready and we had to finish and not let down.”
Before Saturday, Glenelg had rarely trailed this season, so when Poolesville junior Sarah Onderko scored off a centering pass from senior forward Allie Greene less than seven minutes into the game, the Gladiators faced an unfamiliar and unexpected challenge.
They responded quickly, as junior forward Stephanie Asher set up Glenelg’s first goal with a backhand centering pass to Taylor, who found senior Ivy Meissner for the goal with 18 minutes 17 seconds to play in the first half.
Baker’s gift from Taylor came next, and senior midfielder Emily Russo, Taylor and senior forward Tagne Vandewall all tacked on insurance goals in the second half.
“The first goal . . . made us recognize we needed to pick up our game,” Baker said. “That got us into the game.”
Glenelg goalie Amanda Hoyt made a diving save in each half to help preserve the win for the Gladiators, who became the sixth program in state history to win at least three consecutive titles.
“I don’t think I ever thought I’d be a part of a three-peat,” Glenelg Coach Ginger Kincaid said. “I don’t care how good your teams are, anything can happen once you get down to the playoffs. I’m just very proud to be part of this.”