Broadneck junior goalie Sam Hoffman learned during practice on Thursday that she would get her first start this season against rival South River in Friday’s Class 4A East Section I title game.
Along with the hard work she has put in all season as the team’s backup, she got the nod over freshman Mason Smargissi because of the experience she gained in helping the No. 11 Bruins win last year’s Class 4A state championship.
That experience was put to good use when another classic Broadneck-South River girls soccer playoff game came down to penalty kicks.
After both teams made good on their first five tries, All-Metro standout Makenna Dean scored on her try to give the Bruins an advantage. Hoffman did the rest, getting her left hand on Marissa LaTorre’s firm shot aimed for the right corner.
From there, the celebration was on as the visiting Bruins claimed a 6-5 shootout win after the teams finished 100 minutes of soccer tied at 1.
Broadneck (11-3-2) will face Anne Arundel County champion Severna Park on Monday at 6 p.m. for the region title.
“I’m happy for this team, we’re a family and I just tried getting better every day. And I wouldn’t be where I am right now without Mason’s support — we’re like sisters,” said Hoffman, who finished with seven saves. “Coming into this game, I just had the mindset that we have the heart to win this. I don’t know to explain it. We all came out supporting each other.”
Dean, who scored two goals to lead Broadneck past Urbana in last year’s title game, played another big role in keeping the Bruins’ season going when she tied the game with under two minutes to play in the second half.
With the Seahawks (13-2-2) capably protecting the 1-0 lead provided by Ashley Tarjik early in the second half, she found the time to set up her left foot and unleashed a shot from 20 yards that South River goalie Julia Cobb did well to get a hand on but couldn’t keep out in the rainy conditions.
Hobbled with a leg injury in the latter stages, Dean’s work wasn’t finished as she came up to take the Bruins’ sixth penalty kick — converting to set up Hoffman’s clinching save.
The rivalry grows every year – either Broadneck or South River has represented the East region since 2012 with the teams combining on three state crowns during the stretch.
This was the third time in five years their region playoff game came down to penalty kicks.
For the Seahawks, it brought a disappointing end to a fine season. They finished the regular season with an unbeaten mark with their only setback coming on penalty kicks. Last week, Severna Park beat them in the Anne Arundel County championship in that manner.
Before Friday’s game, South River coach John Sis mentioned the valuable experience last week’s game brought with penalty kick pressure hard to simulate in practice. The Seahawks were good on Friday — making their first five shot — but the Bruins were one kick better.
“Credit Broadneck for doing a great job,” Sis said. “I was happy with the way we played today and couldn’t be more proud of our seniors.”
Class 4A East Section II final
11 Broadneck 1, South River 1 (2 OT)
Broadneck advances on penalty kicks, 6-5
Goals: B — Dean; SR -- Tarjick. Assists: B — ; Flewellyn; SR -- Gleeson. Saves: B – Hoffman 7; SR --Cobb 5. Half: 0-0