For the second year in a row the South River girls lacrosse team opened its season against Broadneck, one of its toughest rivals. Once again, the game went right down to the wire.
Taylor Bresnahan scored the game-winning goal with 1:47 to go and the No. 4 Seahawks used strong defense and a little help from the pipes to take a 10-9 victory over the No. 9 Bruins in an Anne Arundel County league game.
After Bresnahan's goal, the visiting Bruins won the next draw and Kacy Koolage rolled the crease and scored to cut the South River lead to 10-8 with 1:17 left.
The Bruins won the next draw, too, and fired two shots off the pipe before Natalie Hendricks fed Aislinn Probst to pull Broadneck within one with 34.4 seconds left.
Although South River goalie Elizabeth Duswalt finished with seven saves, the pipe stopped at least three Bruins shots, leaving Broadneck coach Karen Tengwall joking that she wanted to measure the South River goals because they had to be just a tad too small.
South River coach Kim McNemar had a different explanation: "I've got to give the credit to the defense, though, because if we weren't on them tight, then they might have had a better placement."
When these two teams have met in recent years, the outcome has usually been close.
Broadneck has won seven of the past 11 meetings, but the Seahawks have won four of the past five and all four have come by one goal, including last year, 11-10.
The Seahawks took a 3-0 lead on goals from Bresnahan, who finished with four goals and an assist, Amberly Kovalick and Alex Watson, but the Bruins answered with their own three-goal spurt sparked by two goals from Ellie McNulty. Probst, who finished with three goals and an assist, tied it.
In the first half, the Bruins won nine of 12 draws, helping them rally and then stay close as the Seahawks took a one-goal lead into halftime.
"A big part of the game is the draw control, so if we win the draw, obviously we want to score," said Bresnahan, who took the draws in the first half, but moved to the circle in the second half. "We had to keep getting draws, so if someone's not winning it, we have to switch it up, and I think that was a big change. After we switched it up, that's when we started getting the draws and we went up by a lot."
When McNemar moved Madison Carter to take the draw, the Seahawks won the first four in the second half, and Bresnahan picked two of those out of the air. Kacie Longo and Jacky Spalding scored quick goals and, after a strong defensive stand, Longo added another goal for a 9-5 lead, the largest of the game.
During the run, in which the two teams raced back and forth, Duswalt faced five Broadneck shots and saved three.
The Bruins rebounded on goals from Hendricks and Probst within less than a minute to cut the lead to 9-7 with 7:59 to go. Duswalt then saved Becky Meyer's free-position shot to stop the momentum.
"I'm happy with the way that the girls played overall," Tengwall said. "I thought our defense for a young defense played well against a veteran attack. Offense, we've got some work to do, but for a first game and having some unlucky moments, I'm not disappointed."
Broadneck goalie Natalee Easthom also had seven saves.
4 South River 10, 9 Broadneck 9
Goals: B—Probst 3, McNulty 2, Hendricks 2, Earnest, Koolage; SR—Bresnahan 4, Spalding 2, Longo 2, Kovalick, Watson. Assists: B—McNulty, Probst; SR—Spalding, Bresnahan. Saves: B—Easthom 7; SR—Duswalt 7. Half: SR, 6-5.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun