Girls Lacrosse: Broadneck 21, Sherwood 5

by Eric Meany

Broadneck held Maddie Doan to just one goal in defeating Sherwood for the Class 4A/3A state championship.

Broadneck held Maddie Doan to one goal in defeating Sherwood for the Class 4A/3A state championship.

CATONSVILLE, Md — The Sherwood High School girls lacrosse team held its own against heavily-favored Broadneck through the first six minutes of the MPSSAA Class 4A/3A Championship Game at UMBC Stadium on Wednesday. The Warriors stood tied with the Bruins on the strength of early goals by Taylor Polhemus and Kristen Lauda, and the possibility of a tightly-contested title game seemed very real.

It didn’t last.

Broadneck scored 12 unanswered goals in a span of 14 minutes on its way to a 15-3 halftime lead, then cruised through the second half to capture a 21-5 win and the third state championship in team history.

The Bruins (18-3) scored at a relentless pace – four goals in a two-minute span and then, after a five minute gap, seven goals in the next five minutes. By the time Polhemus scored her second goal of the game with 4:02 left in the first half to end the onslaught, Sherwood’s chances of prevailing were all but gone.

The early success of the Warriors (16-1) did not surprise coach Kelly Hughes, who said her players were confident and prepared going into the game despite their underdog status.

“I think we felt good about our chances even before the game started,” Hughes said. “We had a plan to stop what they do on offense. We had a plan on our offense as well. It’s hard to do it for the whole game, though. Especially when you’re on defense the whole time.”

The tide began to turn for the Bruins when they established dominance on draws, allowing their efficient offense to capitalize on repeated opportunities to score. The inability of the Warriors to gain control of the ball after their initial success doomed their efforts to keep the game competitive.

“We’re used to winning the draws,” Hughes said. “So having that taken from us every single time was hard. Every game we say ‘possession is key,’ and when you can’t get it back from a team like that, it’s just — you’re done.”

The Bruins got four goals from junior Ellie McNulty, three from Naval Academy recruit Aislinn Probst and two from Zoe Earnest to go along with single goals from 11 other players. Their 21 goals were the most ever scored by a Class 4A team in a championship game, eclipsing the old record of 19 most recently accomplished by C.M. Wright in 2004.

Broadneck’s dominance was such that they held the high-scoring duo of Maddie Doan and Emily Kenul, who had previously combined for 137 goals this season, to just one goal apiece. Doan, a Virginia Tech recruit playing in her final high school game, had a shot hit the goal post early in the second half before finally scoring on a free-position shot with 2:30 left in the game.

Despite the lopsided nature of the loss, Hughes and her players said that being the first Montgomery County girls lacrosse team to play in the final round of a tournament traditionally dominated by more experienced teams from Anne Arundel County was a positive development.

“To show we could even make it this far I think says a lot,” Doan said. “And Montgomery County is just building more and more, starting more club programs and girls are starting earlier. So I think if you give it another ten years I think it would be a much closer game.”

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