It’s not uncommon for the better athletes to elevate their game to a higher level come playoff time, no matter the sport.
The entire Broadneck girls lacrosse team is doing just that.
The Bruins cruised through the playoffs with four straight victories, including their most dominating postseason performance with a 17-4 win over North County (12-4) on May 20 at Crofton High in a Class 4A state semifinal.
“We have kind of hit our rhythm,” Broadneck girls lacrosse coach Katy Kelley said. “They are playing looser and united. That’s what we need to do.”
Broadneck (14-5) will move on to play Dulaney of Baltimore County, Wednesday, at 6:00pm at Stevenson University in Owings Mills in the state final. The Bruins captured the last two Class 4A state championships, so they’re likely considered the favorite.
“I think there is more pressure because we have done it two times already,” said senior defender Carlie Gownley, who worked with a unit that included Navaeh Dowell, Susanna Moore and Nya Williams that limited North County to nine shots. “So everybody expects us to do it again.”
Seven Bruins got into the scoring party. Senior midfielder Lilly Kelley paced her team with four goals, Sienna Miller finished with a hat trick, Olivia Orso totaled two goals and three assists, Mary Moore had two goals and two assists, and Nora Lopes added two goals.
It didn’t take long for the Bruins to show they’re the superior team.
About two minutes into play, Lopes scored from five yards out on a free position shot.
After North County senior midfielder Alyissa Yost answered with 21:43 remaining, Broadneck (13-5) ripped off five unanswered goals to jump ahead 6-1.
Lily Trout started the streak off by scoring on a feed from Peyton Allgaier 37 seconds later.
Moore followed with a goal to put Broadneck ahead 3-1.
Then Kelley took over and scored a hat trick in about seven minutes, scoring twice on low shots. Moore assisted on Kelley’s third goal.
Broadneck scored three more times, getting two goals from Miller and another one from Orso before North County senior attacker Natalia Cost found the back of the cage with 6:19 left to trim the margin to 9-2.
Orso scored twice and Lopes added a goal to finish the first-half scoring for Broadneck, which led 12-2 at the intermission.
The second half didn’t produce as much scoring, but Broadneck continued to dominate with a running clock because of its 10-goal lead. The Bruins outscored the Knights, 5-2, in the half.
Miller, Kelley, Moore, Savanna Libby and Bryce Payne scored.
Natalia Cosentino scored North County’s second-half goal.
Now, the Bruins will prepare for a three peat.
“There are things that are beneficial to having been there before,” coach Kelley said. There’s experience and a level of understanding from my older kids of what it means to get there. But there is a target on our back, and we are facing a very talented team. So it will take quite a bit to get the job done.”