It’s no overstatement to say that top-ranked Broadneck has more team speed than any other field hockey team in the Baltimore area, and likely the entire state. The Bruins time and again beat opposing defenses downfield, rarely allowing offenses to get off clean shots.
In Wednesday night’s hotly anticipated Anne Arundel County showdown with No. 5 Crofton, host Broadneck started quickly and never let the unbeaten Cardinals get going. The Bruins scored a pair of goals in the game’s first seven minutes and held the Cardinals to 0-for-15 on penalty corners in a 5-1 win.
“Making those moves in the first couple minutes is key to setting the tone for the rest of the game,” Bruins All-state forward Arden Hunteman said. “Setting the tone early on is what we do.”
Broadneck (9-0 overall, 3-0 county) got a pair of goals from sophomore midfielder Faith Everett and a goal and assist each from Hunteman and midfielder Jess Kopernick. It allowed its only goal on forward Emily Najarian’s solo effort early in the third quarter.
The Bruins have outscored opponents 44-4 this season, including a 4-1 win over current No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, a 6-1 win over No. 6 River Hill and a 5-1 win over No. 11 Glenelg.
“Their speed is what beat us,” Crofton coach Amy Skrickus said. “We have some girls that are fast, but every single person on that team is fast, and we didn’t adjust. We’ve seen some fast teams with one or two girls, but we haven’t seen that. We just couldn’t get it started soon enough.”
This game belonged to Broadneck from the outset. The Bruins took the lead just 2:44 in when Kopernick found Hunteman in front. They made it 2-0 less than four minutes later off a corner when a shot by midfielder Maya Everett bounded off standout sophomore goalie Ryleigh Osborne and Faith Everett knocked in the rebound.
Crofton (5-1, 3-1) had its chances. The Cardinals frequently moved the ball into Broadneck’s end and drew 15 penalty corners.
Each time, however, the Bruins’ corner defensive unit led by flyer Chloe Page, held tough.
“We really held it down and we just shut them down every time they got in the circle,” Page said.
“That’s frustrating because we’ve been doing so well on corners lately,” Skrickus said. “We just weren’t connecting; we just weren’t on.”
Leading 3-1, the Bruins put the game out of reach with third-quarter goals by Faith Everett, who scored off a pass from Hunteman on the far post, and Lexi Dupcak, who swung high to knock in a pass from junior Mady Quigley.
For a Crofton team just in its second season of varsity play, the lopsided score was an aberration . The Cardinals scored their signature win a year ago with a 3-2 triumph over the Bruins,
“I told them brush it off,” Skrickus said. “We’ll talk about it. We’ll fix some things. But we have a game on Friday [against St. Mary’s] so we can’t dwell on it. We need to learn from it, but we can’t dwell on it.”
Broadneck 5, Crofton 1
Goals: C-Najarian; B-F. Everett 2, Dupcak, Hunteman, Kopernick. Assists: B-Quigley, Hunteman, Kopernick. Saves: C-Osborne 9; B-Moody 4. Half: Broadneck 3-0.