Broadneck edges Urbana, 2-1, for second girls soccer state title in three years

It took Broadneck junior forward Makenna Dean a 3:28 span to put her stamp on Class 4A state championship game against Urbana on Saturday.

She was intuitive and precise with the two most important touches of her soccer life.

They came midway through the second half of a scoreless game and the results were two goals, sending the No. 3 Bruins to a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Urbana for the program’s second title in three years.

The goals, coming in the 63rd and 66th minutes, gave the Bruins a 2-0 advantage and both were needed with the Hawks from Frederick County getting one goal back with 10:25 to play. From there, the Bruins defense — which limited the Hawks’ dangerous one-two senior combo of Abbey Burdette and Caitlin Shepherd — stayed poised to close out the victory.

Broadneck finished the season with a 17-2-1 record, while Urbana, winner of the Class 3A state title last year, finished 18-1-1.

For the Bruins, it was an ideal gauge to find out just how much they grew this season, having lost to the Hawks, 2-0, on Sept. 2.

The answer was an impressive one with Dean leading the way, as she closed out the season with 16 goals and eight assists. Shortly after hitting the top crossbar, she made good on her next two chances – both times taking a poised extra touch to get by drawn-out Hawks goalkeeper Hannah Goodacre for easy goals. Jenna Buto and Talia Gabarra provided the through balls to send Dean on her way to goal.

Dean found herself in a similar situation in a game against Arundel earlier this season, missing on the chance. Not this time.

“It’s very stressful after you get behind the keeper. I had a million things going through my head. ‘What if I did score? What if I didn’t score?’” she said. “But in the end, you just have to stay poised and put it in the back of the net.

“It was unreal for me and it should be unreal for the entire team because the entire team worked so hard to get the goals. I may have put them in the back of the net, but I wouldn’t have gotten past the goalie or even had the ball on their side without our defense and midfield and everybody else.”

To beat the talented Hawks, which came into the game with 69 goals for and four goals allowed with 15 shutouts, it took a complete team effort and some fine adjustments from coach John Camm.

When Burdette got free a couple of times to threaten early, Camm took senior Emily York out of her center back to specifically mark her. Senior midfielder Lela Clark also shined on defense, and Buto won every head ball to help control the middle with Gabarra helping the Bruins keep possession.

Sophomore goalie Sam Hoffman, who took over for injured starter Maija Schwartz during the region playoffs, played a strong game commanding the penalty area. With the Bruins’ strong play in support, she only had to make one save with Urbana’s Brianna Skidmore getting the one goal by her in the latter stages.

“Going in, we knew it was going to be a hard game because we knew Urbana is an awesome team having seen them earlier in the season,” Gabarra said. “But we also knew that we had grown enormously from that game. It took grit and heart with all of us together.”

The Hawks started fast with a number of scoring chances going harmlessly wide before the Bruins settled in and saw their confidence grow as the scoreless first half wore on.

Two of the Bruins’ best chances came in the final two minutes. Earning a free kick from 40 yards, Mia Camm served in a quality ball to the far post that Buto headed just wide. With 30 seconds left before the break, Buto had time and space from 20 yards out and unleashed a heavy low shot that Goodacre had to make a diving save on.

Goals: B – Dean 2; Skidmore

Assists: B – Gabarra, Buto; U Shepherd

Saves: B – Hoffman 1; U -- Goodacre 3

Half: 0-0

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