Broadneck Girls Stating Case As Region Favorite

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Forget Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” goal for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup or Thierry Henry’s manual thievery of Ireland’s World Cup spot for France in 2009, a pair of unjust goals that ultimately led to equally infamous wins.

By contrast, Broadneck junior Hailey Small legitimately scored a goal with her hands against South River on September 24.

It was a big one, too: Small’s deep throw-in from the sideline improbably found its way into the net to give the Bruins a 1-0 win over the Seahawks in an early-season matchup of two region contenders.

PHOTO GALLERY: Broadneck girls soccer vs. South River, 9.24.15

“I was actually kind of confused at first,” said Small of her 30-yard throw, which was overrun by South River goalie Emily Proctor before clearing everyone and bouncing into the net at the far post. “[Proctor] came out to get it and just dropped it, and it just went in.”

It was Broadneck’s second win over a top region contender in as many games; the Bruins defeated Arundel 1-0 on Maddie Bragaw’s penalty kick on September 21, giving them early-season wins over two of the county’s presumptive big four teams. A home matchup with rival Severna Park looms on October 20.

“It’s always a good game against South River,” said Bragaw, a junior. “It’s great to come out with a win against them.”

Broadneck’s strong play didn’t stop after the wins over the Wildcats and Seahawks, as the Bruins won 2-1 at Archbishop Spalding — a top contender for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM) A Conference crown in their own right — just two days later on September 26. Lucy Parrott netted both of Broadneck’s goals in that contest, with Mia Camm and Small assisting, while goalie Maura Dawson made eight saves.

Altogether, the Bruins remain unbeaten at 7-0-1 and sit atop the county at 5-0 with wins over Southern, Arundel, South River, Meade and Annapolis through October 1. Only a 1-1 tie with Urbana at the Middletown Tournament on September 5 has prevented Broadneck from posting a W in every contest.

The wins, particularly the Arundel-South River-Spalding gauntlet that transpired over just five days in September, fortified the Bruins’ pre-existing confidence.

“Our confidence is really high,” said Small. “It’s exciting to win games like [Arundel, South River, Spalding].”

Small noted the skilled freshman crop has fit in well with Broadneck’s already solid core. Strong play from senior captains Julia Tingle and Amanda Schweitzer and fellow seniors Taylor Sullivan and Lauren Fisher; juniors Small, Bragaw, Parrott, Lydia McNulty and Amanda Thornton; sophomores Dawson, Jenna Buto and Emily York; and freshmen Camm, Makenna Dean, Talia Gabarra and Caleigh Fletcher have given Broadneck an exceptional level of depth and talent.

“We’re mixing really well together, we have good chemistry and just work really well together,” Small said.

Head coach John Camm has praised the team’s focus since Day 1 of practice and was not totally surprised to see the Bruins defeat three top opponents back-to-back-to-back.

“I think it’s a result of how hard they’re working, how hard they’re training and how focused they are in practice every day,” said Camm.

Naturally, the Bruins intend to keep gaining steam. Getting a win at Chesapeake is never an easy task, one the Bruins will try for on October 8. After fixtures with North County and Glen Burnie, an October 16 bout with IAAM A Conference foe Severn School will be a good tune-up for the Bruins’ home showdown with Severna Park on October 20.

“They’re getting a little bit better each day, and that’s been our focus, to get a little bit better each time out,” said Camm.

PHOTO GALLERY: Broadneck girls soccer vs. South River, 9.24.15

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