Lindsay Rawley's memory of standing on the hockey field in the playoffs against Meade in October 2003 was still vivid when she took the field last Thursday -- once again versus Meade -- in a first-round playoff game.
Broadneck was the defending 4A state champion that day last fall, but Meade pulled off the upset. Rawley, a junior and the Bruins' leading scorer this season, was determined that would not happen again.
As she streaked down the right sideline in overtime of a 4A East quarterfinal at home, Rawley opened up some space between the nearest Meade pursuer. Twenty-five yards from the goal, she hit a perfect crossing pass to sophomore Megan Hollerbach, then tripped and fell.
What she didn't see was Hollerbach tip the ball to teammate Brigitte Strother, who put a shot past the Meade goalie for a 1-0 victory.
"I looked up [from the ground] just as Brigitte was hitting the ball," said Rawley, a varsity player since her freshman year.
"You know, I remember last year, it was a rough loss. I didn't want this to be my last game [this season]. I have so much faith in this team. [In overtime] I just looked at my girls and thought: 'We won't lose because we're too good for this.' "
Strother may just be a freshman, but the talented forward had the wherewithal to position herself nicely on the final play.
"When Lindsay started the fast break, I just tried to pull over to the center," Strother said. "Then when Megan got the deflection, I was just in the center to hit it in."
Broadneck was scheduled to play South River in a semifinal match Monday that ended too late for this edition.
South River senior Janna Wojtech did not have a great first half in last Thursday's 4A East quarterfinal against visiting Arundel.
A nice cross from junior Jill Hodges found Wojtech's stick, but her shot went wide right of the cage; later, another crossing pass came to her near the goal, but she failed to control it on her stick for a shot.
But in the second half, Wojtech took full advantage of her opportunities. With the game still scoreless and 20 minutes remaining, she muscled in among a large scrum of sticks in front of the Arundel goal and whacked the ball past the goalie for a 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later, she assisted Hodges on the second goal in a 3-0 victory.
"We were all pushing our sticks to get the ball in the back of the goal cage," said Wojtech of her game-winning score. "We dominated the first half, but couldn't seem to get the ball in goal. Their defense was very good."
Wojtech's assessment was accurate. Arundel's defense was tremendous throughout, led by a Herculean effort from senior Lauren Clear. On several occasions, Clear threw her body in front of oncoming shots, picked up the loose ball and started a break up the field. Her efforts, and those of junior Catherine Jacobs and senior Katie Nider, kept a skilled South River squad off the scoreboard for 40 minutes.
"I think I just want the ball," said Clear, when asked about her fearless play. "I really just want that ball."
Clear then praised her team for refusing to give up.
"I think every girl out there played the way we were taught to play this game. I don't think the score reflected how we played tonight."