UPPER MARLBORO — Never let a lesser talented team hang around. Bad things can happen if you give it confidence early.
Broadneck heeded that tenet and came to play from the opening kick in its Class 4A state semifinal against Eleanor Roosevelt at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School. Talia Gabarra hit the left post in the second minute, but scored in the fourth to lead an aggressive offensive effort as the Bruins defeated the Raiders, 4-0, on Saturday.
“We talked about it all week,” Broadneck coach John Camm said. “We knew they were going to be athletic and pretty good on the ball. This was a game we did not want to leave hanging until the last minute and I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”
Broadneck (16-2-1), making its third state appearance, will play for its second state title in three years against Urbana, which defeated Quince Orchard in overtime earlier in the day. The Hawks won the Class 3A state crown last year before moving up in classification. The Bruins defeated Leonardtown in overtime, 1-0, to win its only state title in 2015.
Mara Buto and Makenna Dean also scored in the first half as the Bruins came at Eleanor Roosevelt in waves. Gabarra started everything when she took possession just outside the box, dribbled in and fired a laser that glanced off the left post 90 seconds in. Two minutes later, she finished her opportunity, scoring her 12th goal, to give the Bruins the early advantage.
The ball spent all but a few moments in the Raider’s defensive third the entire first half. Eleanor Roosevelt (14-2) goalkeeper Jasmine Booker was tested early and often, making 10 saves in the first half and 14 for the game. Dean was the workhorse for the Bruins on the left wing, and she tested Booker from several angles in the first half, including just missing wide right in the 14th minute.
Mara Buto doubled Broadneck’s lead five minutes later. Dean added to that lead with 13 minutes, 30 seconds to play in the first half with a great individual effort. She took possession on the right sideline, cut inside one defender and then cut left inside another defender before sending a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net for her 14th goal.
The only bad news came a few minutes later when Dean was taken down hard while making a run with the ball on the left side just past midfield. She stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the field.
“It is probably a bruised knee,” Camm said. “She hit knee to knee, so we just kept her out the second half as a precaution.”
The Bruins showed no letup in the second half, and were rewarded when Jenna Buto scored her 16th goal in the 50th minute. Dean had two assists in the game, followed by Mia Camm and Ellie Shurman with one assist each. The Bruins have now won four straight and scored 80 goals themselves this season, a school record.
“It has been the same thing all season long,” Camm said. “They set each other up and they don’t care who gets the goal. We have 8-9-10 players who can score a game-winning goal in a big game. That is a nice feature to have.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, making its 10th appearance, simply did not have the technical skill nor speed to hang with Broadneck on a frigid Saturday night. The Raiders had scored 92 goals coming into the contest, but were shut out for the first time this season, and had their 12-game winning streak halted.
This result sets up a top-notch final between Broadneck and Urbana. The Bruins lost to the Hawks in an early season tournament, 2-0, one of just two losses on the season for Camm’s side.
“We are so familiar with them,” Camm said. “Between scrimmages and games, we have probably played them six straight years. We are familiar with them and they are familiar with us. They have a lot of pace up top and dangerous players, so we will need to limit their chances and prevent them from having any freedom up top.”
Broadneck 4, Eleanor Roosevelt 0
Goals: BN — Gabarra, M. Buto, Dean, J. Buto.
Assists: BN — Dean 2, Camm, Shurman.
Saves: BN – Hoffman 1; ER — Booker 14.
Half: Broadneck, 3-0.