On former President Harry Truman’s desk was a sign that read “The Buck Stops Here.”
After capturing the Anne Arundel County boys lacrosse championship through Monday’s 10-5 victory against arch-rival Severna Park High, Broadneck coach Jeff McGuire can have a sign made for his desk that reads only slightly different: “The Streak Stops Here.”
A year after snapping Severna Park’s 61-game win streak during regular season play, the undefeated and No. 7 Bruins abruptly halted the 11th-ranked Falcons’ five-year stranglehold on the county championship at Glen Burnie’s Whayland Stadium behind the scoring of Tyler Hicks and Ryan Della and the cage prowess of Colin Gray.
The hard-charging Hicks and Della each netted three goals to pace the Bruins’ offense while Gray anchored a stingy defense by turning away a staggering 19 shots with one deflection after another to keep the Falcons at bay.
It’s the first Anne Arundel crown for the Cape St. Claire school since 2001.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Gray of the county title, which was denied a year ago through a 13-6 setback to Severna Park on Broadneck’s home turf. “We knew what we had coming against us coming off a win (against the Falcons). I was pretty nervous at the beginning. After the one goal, I was like `I’ve got this.’ Got a few saves under my belt and just flew after that. I’ve been working my butt off in the offseason. Terrible feeling after losing last season. Just happy I got the medal.”
Largely a defensive struggle throughout the contest, the Bruins (15-0 overall) took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter as Della assisted on Jackson Shaw’s game-opening goal and then scored himself on a jump shot as he raced from behind the goal with 1 minute, 44 seconds remaining left in the first quarter.
Severna Park’s Duke Sealey and Andrew Myers forged a 3-3 tie with 5:17 remaining in the opening half, but goals by Hicks and Della gave Broadneck the lead for good at 5-3 by halftime.
Hicks posted both of his first-half goals in the second quarter on a fast break shot and on a 1-on-1 move. Della’s second goal came late in the first half off a nifty pass from Brayden Schmidt.
“From the first game, we all realized we had to come in with some confidence,” said Hicks, whose squad scored a 9-6 decision against Severna Park on April 30. “Our boys always have each other’s back. As soon as we get the momentum, we just like to roll. This is just a relief to get this off our back, and we just want to know who’s next.”
The Bruins largely put the finishing touches on the county crown, outscoring the Falcons, 4-1, in the third quarter for a commanding 9-4 lead that seemed even larger considering how well the team’s defense was playing, including allowing just two second-half goals.
“We’ve really done a rewind on defense,” McGuire said. “My assistant, Dan Sadler, has done a really good job. He kind of realized that just keeping it simple is best against these guys. Not overcomplicating things. Keeping the match-ups easy and just taking away their strengths. They are funneling guys exactly where Colin Gray needs to make a save. When you are playing in front of a guy like that, it makes it easier.”
Broadneck is in very good headspace heading into the state postseason. The Bruins, who lost in the Class 4A state final to Montgomery County’s Churchill, will host Annapolis Friday in a East Region II semifinal.
For the first time in several years, Severna Park finds itself in regroup mode entering postseason play after its Anne Arundel County title reign ended Monday. The Falcons, who’ve won six consecutive state championships, will host Crofton or Arundel in a 3A South Region 2 semifinal Friday.
“I think we killed ourselves,” Falcons coach David Earl said. “We did not play our best lacrosse today. They outworked us in every facet of the game, most notably, on ground balls and face-offs. We will regroup for the playoffs. I think we have a first-round bye. We’ll give them off tomorrow, give them a little bit of time to think about this, and hopefully, show up and have a couple of good days of practice and continue on in the playoffs.”
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
at Glen Burnie
NO. 7 BROADNECK 10, NO. 11 SEVERNA PARK 5
Severna Park 1 2 1 1 - 5
Broadneck 2 3 4 1 - 10
GOALS: Severna Park - John Burkhardt 2, Andrew Myers, Tim Sullivan, Duke Sealey; Broadneck - Ryan Della 3, Tyler Hicks 3, Jackson Shaw, Brayden Schmidt, Eli Harris, Ryan Salazar
ASSISTS: Severna Park - Nolan Grizzle; Broadneck - Jackson Shaw, Ryan Della, Brayden Schmidt, Tyler Stewart
SAVES: Severna Park - Ashby Shepherd 9; Broadneck - Colin Gray 19