A three-sport athlete during her first three years at South River, Taylor Bresnahan had grown used to the grind of transitioning from one season to the next. But after an All-Met field hockey season in the fall in which she helped the Seahawks win their first state title since 2006, she put an abrupt end to that cycle.
Rather than heading for basketball practice in November, Bresnahan opted for a new training regimen, devoting the hours she would have spent on the hardwood to prepare for her final lacrosse season at the Edgewater school. While her former teammates captured the Anne Arundel County basketball title, she pushed through grueling workouts on the track and focused on improving her stick skills.
On the other side, Bresnahan, who has signed to play lacrosse at Florida, has reaped the benefits. Through three games, she leads No. 3 South River with 12 goals and believes her body is better prepared for the rigors of a deep postseason run.
“I feel like it’s already paid off,” Bresnahan said. “I’m in a lot better shape. I feel like I’m quicker off the draw. I feel like I’m just better all around.”
South River Coach Kim McNemar privately wondered about Bresnahan’s decision to give up basketball. The coach felt that the sport had always done a fine job of getting the midfielder ready for the spring season.
But by the time practice began last month, McNemar could tell Bresnahan, who had 43 goals last spring, had an extra bounce in her step.
The senior scored four goals in an emotional 10-9 win over rival Broadneck to open the season on March 21 and then netted six more in Saturday’s 17-5 victory over Notre Dame Prep that avenged a loss from last season. As part of a tournament in Towson, the team dropped its next game immediately afterward to Century, which has won three of the past four Maryland 3A/2A titles.
“After seeing her play at the beginning of this year compared to years before, there was a certain drive about her — like she wanted it more than anything,” McNemar said. “She was just really hungry for the competition.”
Bresnahan’s choice to prepare for lacrosse highlights the importance of this season to a veteran-laden team. In November, all 13 seniors signed to play at the next level, the largest number in McNemar’s 11 years.
Six of those players, including Bresnahan, were members of the varsity squad in 2010 when South River won its last state title. The past two years the Seahawks were bounced from the Maryland 4A East playoffs by No. 8 Severna Park.
Last spring, the Falcons, who have won five of the past six state titles, came back from a regular season loss with an 8-5 victory in the region semifinals.
“Winning as a freshman, it’s a great feeling and everything, but winning as a senior would be 10 times better because you know you contributed that much more,” Bresnahan said. “If we win this time, it’s because of us. The 13 of us [seniors] are working that much harder because we know we don’t have next year.”
Georgetown Visitation stayed perfect during a three-game spring break trip to Florida that included a 14-7 win over defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champ Holy Cross. . . .Marriotts Ridge All-Met Zoe Stukenberg has her senior season off to a strong start with 13 goals and eight assists in three victories. . . . After starting the season with a pair of narrow losses, Broadneck bounced back with two impressive victories last week, notably a 19-10 victory over defending Maryland 4A runner-up Westminster.
1. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (8-0) LW: 1
2. Georgetown Visitation (5-0) LW: 2
3. South River (2-1) LW: 3
4. Good Counsel (3-1) LW: 4
5. Mount Hebron (3-0) LW: 6
6. Marriotts Ridge (3-0) LW: 7
7. Severn (3-3-1) LW: 9
8. Severna Park (2-1) LW: 5
9. Broadneck (2-2) LW: NR
10. Oakton (2-2) LW: 9
Dropped out: Spalding (4-3)
Bubble: Damascus (2-0), Stone Ridge (3-0), Westfield (2-0)
Records through Tuesday