In the midst of a seemingly inexplicable second-half collapse, with Broadneck’s reign as state girls lacrosse champion hanging by a thread, a strange serenity overtook the senior leaders Wednesday evening.
Less than five minutes prior, the Bruins had held a six-goal lead over Dulaney in the 4A championship tilt. Then, out of nowhere, a game-changing penalty gave the Lions momentum and shaved the lead to one.
A timeout came, and with it a moment to breathe. Then the Bruins went to work.
Mary Moore scored the last of her three goals with 4:24 to play in the game, and Broadneck survived one last frantic rally from Dulaney to win 9-8 at Stevenson University, capturing the school’s third straight state title and the sixth in program history.
Moore added an assist to her hat trick, while Sienna Miller scored twice. Lexi Dupcak had a goal and an assist, while Lilly Kelley, Nora Lopes and Olivia Orso also scored.
That scoring, combined with a particularly strong first-half defensive effort, gave Broadneck just enough margin to nurse until the end.
“They have a lot of good shooters, and they moved the ball around very well,” said Bruins coach Katy Kelley. “But all seven of our defenders did a really good job with their matchups, and Megan (Shields) made some really important saves, which gave us the energy we needed. Very proud of our defense.”
Dulaney eventually got things rolling in the second half, but Broadneck remained unfazed, even if the coaching staff admitted to feeling the nerves.
“We’ve been in that position before, like two years ago at states, so we kind of handle the pressure well,” Moore said. “We just had to stay calm.”
Staying calm was much easier said than done when the Bruins lost Lilly Kelley to a two-minute unreleasable misconduct penalty midway through the second half. Dulaney scored twice with the man advantage and a third time seconds after Kelley stepped back onto the field to halve Broadneck’s lead.
By that time, momentum was firmly with the Lions, though Broadneck attempted to seize it back in the final moments. Moore’s third goal gave the Bruins a two-goal cushion, then they worked clock and allowed one goal, but crucially not two.
The frantic sequence ended with Dulaney having the last 35 seconds of possession. The Lions rang a shot off the pipe with 10 seconds to go, and Broadneck defended for their life to deny a final desperation shot attempt. Once time expired, the Bruins sprinted toward Shields in goal to celebrate.
“We trust Megan, and I saw it go out (of play); I’m not even really sure how much time was left, which might be bad, but I was so keyed into the defense,” Lilly Kelley said. “We trust our defense.”