Anyone expecting the reigning Class 4A state championship Broadneck field hockey team to show signs of decline this season after losing six starters from last year’s team will likely have to wait for another season.
The proof? The victories keep piling up for the unbeaten Bruins.
Broadneck thumped Hereford, McDonogh School, River Hill, Chesapeake and Southern out of the gate, outscoring those five opponents, 37-3.
The Bruins received their toughest test of the season playing heated rival and visiting Severna Park (5-2) on September 26. Still, Broadneck controlled the play and posted a 5-2 victory.
That’s 26 consecutive victories with the Bruins looking like a state championship caliber team again.
“I think they are going to win the state championship,” Severna Park head coach Shannon Garden said. “I think they are phenomenal. I can imagine them not winning the state championship in 4A. There is nobody out there in the state in the public school system that will be them.”
Garden gets annoyed at her team’s slow starts.
It happened again against Broadneck as the Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Katelyn Kearns, Faith Everett and Chloe Page scored during that span.
“They have a lot of club players that play year-round,” Garden said. “That makes a huge difference in any sport.”
Severna Park’s goals came from junior Ava Zimmerman and freshman Ryleigh Connell.
Everett, a senior midfielder, led Broadneck with two goals and boosted her season total to a whopping 11.
“She is doing a really good job of settling into the midfield area,” said Broadneck field hockey coach Shannon Hanratty. “She has always gone back and fourth between the midfield and the frontline.”
Abbie Morris, Kearns and Page each had a goal and assist apiece.
It's hard for any team to slow Broadneck down this season.
“We are really good offensively,” said Page, a junior whose team held a significant advantage in shots (22-6) and corners (9-2). “We connect really well in the circle.”
Offensively, everything seemed to go Broadneck’s way in the first half.
After three straight penalty corners and Cayman Holmes’ point-blank shot that was stopped by Falcons’ goalie Amanda Giebels (12 saves), Kearns scored on a feed from Page about six minutes into play.
Off a corner, Page’s shot from just inside the 16-yard circle to the low left of the cage boosted the Bruins lead to 2-0 with 2:14 remaining.
About a minute later, Everett weaved through a cluster of defenders and beat Giebels to increase Broadneck’s margin to 3-0.
Severna Park (4-3) crossed midfield only twice in the first quarter and got nowhere near the Broadneck goal. The Falcons broke midway through the second quarter on a goal from Zimmerman to close the gap to 3-1.
Everett scored again with 4:25 left in the third quarter. Morris finished the winner’s scoring 2:30 later.
Broadneck players and Hanratty understand being the defending state champions comes with lofty expectations. Opponents are eager to beat them.
“It was our first state title in 20 years,” Hanratty said. “We don’t think and talk about it. It’s a fond memory. We are in the present and wondering about our potential in 2023. We really don’t put that pressure on us, and it helps play as well as we have.”