Having gone 26 years without a boys lacrosse championship, including last year’s frustrating loss to Winston Churchill in the final, Broadneck was ready to make up for lost time in this year’s Class 4A title clash against Sherwood.
The seventh-ranked Bruins not only finished a 20-0 season, they did so in high style by securing the 16-6 victory over the Warriors from Montgomery County at Stevenson University’s Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills. The Anne Arundel County school went on a 9-1 closing run to secure its first championship since 1997.
Of the many Broadneck contributors, senior goalie Colin Gray (9 saves), junior face-off specialist Graham Hartman (16-for-25 draws), senior midfielder Ryan Salazar (2 goals, 4 assists) and senior attackman Jackson Shaw (54 goals, single-season program record), were the most notable.
Yet there were so many others who helped to return a championship banner to Cape St. Claire.
Senior attackman Ryan Della got Broadneck off to a great start when he converted a feed from junior defenseman Braden McCassue, although Sherwood knotted the score on a goal by sophomore midfielder Andrew Cavanaugh three minutes later.
Shaw sandwiched goals around one by McCassie to give the Bruins a 4-1 advantage, a lead they never relinquished.
Sophomore midfielder Andrew Bergesen replied for the Warriors (16-5) before Salazar and junior attackman Tanner Boone found the back of the net to give Broadneck a 6-2 cushion.
The Bruins were still in control, 7-3, midway through the third quarter when Sherwood made a move on consecutive goals by Cavanaugh and senior attackman Cael Comstock.
That’s right about the time that the Bruins hitched up their big-boy pants and went to work, using possessions from Hartman’s draws to finish the game running downhill.
Sherwood coach Matt Schneider said that his team made too many mistakes at the point in the game.
“I don’t think we played our best game, and they came out firing,” he said. “We had to fight to stay in it, but, ultimately, our total number of injuries this season finally caught up to us because of our lack of depth on the bench. We got tired and started to lose our legs, so it was hard to make a comeback.”
Senior attackman Brooks Chatlos started the onslaught on a long-range rip that eluded Sherwood goalie Cooper Hawkins, who had a nice showing between the pipes for the Warriors with 11 saves.
Hawkins said that he was confident before the game, despite facing a slew of Bruin snipers.
“There was no doubt in my mind we were going to win this game,” the junior said. “It didn’t really connect that we would ever lose. I felt like we were coming into it hot.”
Even so, Shaw popped in a lefty shot ahead of another Salazar goal to double the lead to 10-5 with 1:57 left in the third period.
The Bruins did not panic when Sherwood rallied.
“We just kept our heads down and kept going,” Della said.
Junior midfielder Tyler Hicks continued the Bruins’ assault on a 15-yard sizzler, which Cavanaugh offset with his third tally of the contest on an extra-man set.
Chatlos, Della, Hicks, Salazar and sophomore midfielder Brayden Schmidt combined to complete a sequence that guaranteed the long wait for the program’s fifth state banner was officially over.
“We just wanted to play simple lacrosse,” Broadneck coach Jeff McGuire said. “Their goalie made a couple of saves early and then we adjusted.”
Hartman praised his wings for aiding his cause at the ‘X.’
“The Sherwood guy was doing a good job of roughing me up when I was exiting (from the draw),” he said. “So I had my wing just box out the whole time to free up some space for me.”
4A BOYS LACROSSE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
AT STEVENSON UNIVERSITY
NO. 7 BROADNECK 16, SHERWOOD 6
Sherwood 2 1 2 1 — 6
Broadneck 4 2 4 6 — 16
Goals: Sherwood-Drew Staley, Andrew Cavanaugh 3, Cael Comstock, Andrew Bergesen; Broadneck-Jackson Shaw 3, Ryan Della 2, Braden McCassie, Tanner Boone 3, Ryan Salazar 2, Tyler Hicks 2, Brooks Chatlos 2, Brayden Schmidt.
Assists: Sherwood-Cael Comstock, Andrew Bergesen 2, Alex Lacey; Broadneck-Tanner Boone, Jackson Shaw, Ryan Salazar 4, Braden McCassie.
Saves: Sherwood-Cooper Hawkins 11; Colin Gray 9.