No. 3 Glenelg, the two-time defending Class 2A state champion in field hockey, is one of eight local teams to have a No. 1 seed in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association tournament that begins Tuesday. But for Glenelg the start of the playoffs won't be easy.
Glenelg will have a double-bye before being scheduled to play their first playoff game on Oct. 29. The Gladiators (13-1) also had byes in the first two rounds last year, but this season they don't have a District V championship game (which is not being played this year) to fill the gap and keep them sharp. The team has 12 full days without a game.
"We have an awful long time off," Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid said. "That really hurts us."
Kincaid said the Gladiators will fill their time with a scrimmage against No. 13 Mount Hebron (10-2), the third seed in the Class 3A East region, and two road trips: one to Gettysburg to see former Glenelg player Mary Kate Olson play at Franklin & Marshall and another to Maryland to see two-time Baltimore Sun field hockey Player of the Year Alyssa Parker play in the Terps' game against North Carolina.
"Once we get started in the tournament, I think it is very doable," Kincaid said of her team's chances. "But we've been very up and down lately. We did [come back to] beat Towson, 2-1, [Wednesday] and that was a good game for us. They have a grass field and it challenged us. You don't build any character if everything goes smoothly. I liked the whole idea that we had to adapt because we don't know what kind of challenges we will run into during the tournament."
No. 8 Westminster is the No. 1 seed in the 2A West region, while No. 10 Century is No. 1 in 2A North. Atholton is the top seed in 3A East, and undefeated No. 5 Hereford is the No. 1 seed in 3A North. In 1A South, Sparrows Point, which has lost only one game all season, has two byes, as does 8-2 Manchester Valley in 1A West. Catonsville, 9-3, is No. 1 in 4A North.
"Being No. 1 in the region is new for us," Catonsville coach Lindsey Springer said. "And we're very excited. We go into this on a six-game winning streak and I think that momentum and my team's talent are factors. We're taking it one game at a time, but are hoping to go far."
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