Four Days, 100 Minutes: Falcons and Bruins Battle To 0-0 Result
By Colin A.J. Murphy
In a matchup holding major playoff seeding implications for two of the countys best girls' soccer teams, the Severna Park Falcons and Broadneck Bruins completed a two-leg, 0-0 draw at Broadneck High School on October 17 to remain tied at the top of the county standings at 8-0-1 apiece (updates since are provided at the end of this article). A physical, well-played game by both sides, the completion of the games final 15 minutes and overtime periods on October 17 came after play was suspended due to lighting on October 13. With the state playoffs beginning for each team on November 1, the game provided valuable experience for each side as they look to hit stride at the right time.
We know what we have to do now against Broadneck and against teams that pack it in defensively, said Severna Park forward Gabby Moreno. We just have to always be working harder than the next girl and getting in front of her.
Although stretches of the game saw very evenly matched play and back-and-forth action, the contest bore itself out mostly as a defensive victory for Broadneck and an offensive containment for Severna Park. The Falcons controlled possession for the majority of the first half, but for the most part had difficulty creating high-percentage chances. The Bruins packed as many as eight women behind the ball defensively and saw fantastic play on headers and 50-50 challenges from defenders and midfielders Nikole Blackwell, Zoe Earnest, Allie Bragaw, Madi McDaniel, Sammy Dean, and Summer Dean.
Overall, we cut off their best players and didnt allow any kind of forward passing to go on, said Broadneck Head Coach Jon Camm.
Early in the second half, Broadneck began pushing their way into their attacking half of the field and creating more opportunities on goal. A shot from distance by junior midfielder Rachel Paganelli in the 56th minute had the Severna Park goalkeeper beat, but the placement was just over the crossbar. Eight minutes later, lightning struck and play was suspended.
When the contest resumed four days later, what had been mostly a tactical battle turned into a bruising physical contest. With a maximum of 35 minutes of play and the county championship potentially on the line, neither team was holding anything back, and the referee was busy seemingly every minute deciding whether or not an aggressive fight for the ball warranted a foul call.
While Severna Park actually managed stretches of fluid passing in the final minutes of regulation and into the two overtimes, it was Broadneck who had the best scoring chances, both created on long passes that were chased down by Bruin forwards. A great chance by Emily Lord in the final minutes of regulation went astray, and another near miss by Erin Rose in the overtime period left the game in a stalemate.
The game was pretty well-played, said Severna Park Head Coach Todd Clarke. They played a very defensive game, and we just have to get the ball forward quicker.
Severna Park since Oct. 17: The following night on Oct. 18, a goal by Kendall Kosman propelled the Falcons to a 1-0 victory over third-place South River. On Oct. 20, goals by Moreno and Ryan Bathras gave Severna Park a 2-0 victory over Annapolis. On Oct. 25, Severna Park dropped a 2-1 decision to River Hill in the District V championship. The Falcons are the #1 seed in the MPSSAA Class 4A State Tournaments East Region and play their first playoff game on Nov. 1. Update Nov. 1: Click here to read about the Falcons' victory over Chesapeake in a 3-2 overtime thriller on November 1.
Broadneck since Oct. 17: On Oct. 18 the Bruins defeated Southern 1-0 on a late goal by Sammy Dean, assisted by Zoe Earnest. On Oct. 20 the Bruins defeated Old Mill 2-0 on goals by Dean and Erin Rose to earn a share of the County Championship. The Bruins are the #3 seed in the MPSSAA Class 4A State Tournaments East Region and play their first playoff game on Nov. 1.