When Marriotts Ridge's Troy Hensh scored early in the second half of Tuesday's boys lacrosse game at Broadneck, the game appeared destined to be going down to the wire.
Eight Broadneck goals and nine faceoff wins later, the game turned into a comfortable Broadneck win.
Riley McNulty had three goals and an assist and Tim Oslislo had three goals to lead the Bruins to a 13-6 victory over Marriotts Ridge on the second day of games between Anne Arundel and Howard counties.
The game was tied four times over the first 25 minutes, but the Bruins used an 8-0 run over a span of 16 minutes, 45 seconds of the second half to take control and remain unbeaten.
"It was anybody's game," Broadneck coach Clay White said. "It was a 4-3 game at halftime and we were calling people out for not doing their job. Our faceoff kid and wing play pretty much changed things around."
After the Bruins lost seven of nine faceoffs in the first half, Broadneck's Tyler Martin won nine of the first 10 in the second half and the Bruins finished the game with a 12-10 advantage. The Bruins also enjoyed a sizable advantage on the ground balls (30-18), with most coming in the second half.
"We had possession the whole second half and dominated ground balls," White said. "It was a clinic, and those guys were the ones who turned it around."
White was especially pleased with the play of defensive midfielders Ford Murphy, Owen Joyce and Kevin Hickox in helping the Bruins take over after a tight first 25 minutes.
"We just kept plugging away and kept working on what we do in practice," said Murphy, who had a team-high eight ground balls. "We wanted to get as many ground balls as possible. I was very proud of our defense."
Peter Geier scored three minutes into the game to give Marriotts Ridge its only lead at 1-0. The Bruins went ahead, 2-1, and the teams traded goals until the game was tied at 4 early in the second half before the Bruins went on their run.
The Marriotts Ridge boys lacrosse team is loaded with experienced seniors - especially on defense - but it was a trio of younger players who stepped up to help the Mustangs beat visiting South Carroll, 8-5, on March 29.
"They were able to win a few faceoffs and get some ground balls and our guys made some costly errors both mentally and physically," Marriotts Ridge coach Tony Incontrera said. "They're too good to allow them the extra chances with the ball."
McNulty got the Bruins' run started when he rolled toward the crease and went low to make it 5-4 early in the third quarter. He added an assist on Jake Ryan's goal on the extra man that made it 8-4 five minutes later.
"We knew that we had to kick up the level of intensity and space out the field and get the ball moving a little quicker," McNulty said. "We got the guys open and moved the ball around. It wasn't a one-man show."
After McNulty got the run started, Taylor Bohanan scored a pair of goals in a three-minute span to begin to extend the lead. He took a pass from Connor Frederick and finished to make it 6-4, then picked up a loose ball just outside the crease and snuck it by Colin Kelley to make it 7-4 midway through the third.
"We got away from our offense in the first half and played as individuals," Bohanan said. "In the second half, we came out and moved the ball around and got some opportunities."
Oslislo also scored during the run and finished with three goals, Ryan had a pair of goals and Frederick had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who've defeated Howard and Marriotts Ridge and will wrap up their play against Howard County with a home game with Glenelg next week. Cole Pellicano continued his impressive season with nine saves and Joyce added six ground balls for the Bruins.
"We know we have a competitive game every week, and we love it," White said. "Hats off to Clayton Culp, our head of athletics, for doing this."