Minutes after scoring the golden goal that gave the Broadneck girls’ soccer team its first Maryland 4A state championship last month, junior Bri Harris looked to her left and right at a postgame news conference and began to brag on any teammate that came to mind.
There were the long throw-ins, some as far as 45 yards, by midfielder Hailey Small and the deft scoring touch of senior Maddie Bragaw. She could always rely on San Diego State lacrosse recruit turned shutdown soccer defender Taylor Sullivan and sophomore goalie Maura Dawson and the straightforward approach of Coach John Camm. They were all important factors in why the Bruins never lost a game this fall.
Taken individually, though, Harris knew they wouldn’t have meant much.
“This whole season was kind of a dream come true,” Harris said. “I was able to rely on every single player on the field, and growing up, I couldn’t say that I’ve done that in any other sport or season. This team is so unique and so different. Every single person. . . had something unique that they brought to the table.”
Broadneck earned the No. 1 ranking the final girls’ fall soccer poll for more than being just one of two Washington area teams to go undefeated this season. It was the way the group’s talented pieces came together as they plowed through a challenging schedule.
This historic season included a three-game stretch in which Broadneck defeated Anne Arundel County rivals Arundel and No. 5 South River, as well as No. 8 Spalding, in consecutive games. It ended with a mixture of skill, grit and luck, including a penalty kick win over South River in the 4A East region semifinals and a 1-0 victory over No. 3 Churchill in the state semifinals.
Camm credited the team’s physical style, which, combined with the overall skill of the lineup, never allowed opponents to get comfortable.
“It wears on teams,” he said. “You do it for five or 10 minutes, you might get some of the ball. You might get some of the play. But over the course of a game, and then over the course of a season, I think it just builds confidence in us and I think it just takes some teams out of their games. We played some pretty good teams and very few teams were able to string passes together against us.”
None of it, however, would have mattered if Broadneck had fallen short of a state championship again. This was Camm’s 12th season leading the Bruins, and he had compiled more than 150 wins during that time. But playing in one of the toughest regions in the state every year, his teams always ended the postseason with a loss.
So when the final buzzer sounded on last month’s 1-0 win over No. 6 Leonardtown, Camm entered that postgame news conference and finally said what his players had already been thinking about: “They pretty much reached their potential.”
“A team filled with greatness,” Harris said, “ending with greatness.”
Broadneck won its first 4A state championship to cap off an undefeated season. . . . Good Counsel won its sixth Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship in seven years under Coach Jim Bruno. . . . Churchill won the 4A West region championship for the first time in school history. . . . Howard County champion Wilde Lake made its first 2A state final appearance since 2007, falling to undefeated Fallston on a penalty kick. . . . Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champion Leonardtown suffered its only loss in overtime to Broadneck in the 4A final. . . . South River played 4A state champion Broadneck to a scoreless tie before losing in penalty kicks in the 4A East region semifinals. . . . Wilson completed an undefeated season by winning its first DCSAA championship over St. John’s. . . . Walter Johnson upset two-time defending 4A state champion Whitman in the 4A West quarterfinals.
1. Broadneck (16-0-3) LW: 1
2. Good Counsel (13-1-4) LW: 2
3. Churchill (13-2-1) LW: 3
4. Wilde Lake (16-2-1) LW: 8
5. Leonardtown (18-1-2) LW: NR
6. South River (12-2-2) LW: 5
7. Bethesda-Chevy Chase (11-2-1) LW: 6
8. Spalding (11-5-3) LW: 7
9. Wilson (16-0-5) LW: 10
10. Walter Johnson (12-5) LW: NR
Dropped out: No. 4 Whitman, No. 9 Elizabeth Seton