|Spartans girl soccer were all smiles after advancing to the AAA state finals!|
(photo by Steven Holland)
And both teams did fly under the radar most of the year with the girls soccer team losing as many games in the regular-season as it had during its 4-year state title run from 2008 thru 2011 and the softball team stood behind the likes of eventual AA state champion Woodgrove and Ashburn rivals Stone Bridge and Briar Woods in terms of publicity.
In the end, however, Broad Run proved it could challenge at the AAA level with the softball team winning the Cedar Run District and Northwest Region titles before falling in the state semifinals and the girls soccer squad coming within penalty kicks of winning a stunning fifth straight state title.
The Spartans (15-5-5) with spectacular upsets over AAA girls soccer heavyweights in the postseason including wins over the metro area's top-ranked team Forest Park and a nationally-ranked Kellam, battled an unbeaten Cosby (23-0-1) team to scoreless tie Saturday at Westfield High School through 80 sweat-drenched minutes of regulation and then 20 nerve-wracking minutes of overtime.
That left things to penalty kicks and Cosby prevailed, 3-1, to claim the state title and stop Broad Run's run at four straight. The day before, the Broad Run softball team fell to another Cosby team that would win a state title Saturday, 10-2. The Broad Run girls soccer team, used an early Darbie Kelley penalty kick Friday to beat Deep Run, 1-0, in the state semifinals. Here is Jason S. (Stands for Spartans!) Rufner's story on Broad Run's big win:
Stout defense puts Spartans into AAA girls' soccer title match
By Jason S. Rufner
Special to Viva Loudoun
Chantilly (June 8, 2012) - With the way the Broad Run Spartans played defense Friday night, the early goal they got from Darbie Kelley was all they required to defeat Deep Run 1-0 in the Group AAA girls' soccer semifinal at Westfield High School in Chantilly.
In the fifth minute, Kelley was awarded a penalty kick after a hard tackle from behind negated Dani Dangremond's rush netward. Kelley calmly juked the Wildcat goalkeeper out of position and tapped it into the right side of the net for what became the sole goal of the match.
What followed was 75 minutes of stifling defense which the Wildcats, runners-up out of the Central Region, were unable to solve.
"Our defense won us the game today," stated Broad Run coach Claire Collins, then repeated herself. "Our defense won us the game today. They were so composed, they were so smart, they contained [Deep Run's] two fast players. We were connected, we played as a team and we played a full 80 minutes."
Collins was referring to Deep Run stars Elizabeth Ball and Tori Fubara, the latter of which authored three goals in the Wildcats' quarterfinal win Tuesday over Stone Bridge.
The going was much tougher against Ashburn's other AAA school.
"We were so composed tonight," Collins went on before singling out one of her defensive stalwarts. "Sam Rabinek had a fantastic game. She read the ball, she got airballs out, she played amazing today."
Goalkeeper Haley Casanova backed up the Spartans' defensive effort with seven saves, including a couple when Deep Run applied pressure in the match's waning minutes. The Wildcats nearly tied the contest in the 73rd minute when a long shot from outside the box clanged off the crossbar and out of bounds.
The Spartans (15-4-5) seek their fifth consecutive state championship -- and first as a Group AAA member -- on the same field Saturday at 2 p.m. Broad Run's competition will be the Cosby Titans, victors in their semifinal versus Cox by a 6-1 score.
"They're going to be tough. Any team you'd meet right now is obviously very good," Collins said. "But we're ready for the challenge."
Broad Run's Postseason Run Ends in State Softball Semifinals
|Broad Run came within two wins of a fifth state softball title since 2000|
(photo by Shelley Larrabee)
Broad Run, however, couldn't do more damage with the bases loaded and Cosby took advantage of two Spartan errors to start the bottom of the first inning to score three runs. In the second inning, Cosby increased the lead to 5-1 with an RBI triple and a steal of home on a two-out pick-off attempt at first base.
McKall Miller doubled for Broad Run in the third with one out, but was left at second. In the fifth, after a walk by Kamille Larrabee, Miller reached on a one-out error but Broad Run left both runners on base.
With seven hits in the game, Broad Run was active at the plate as Amanda Pugh, who walked with the bases loaded in the first for an RBI, doubled to start the sixth and Holly Vizek followed with a walk. Cosby pitcher Whitcombe, however, got out of the jam with a fly out and then back-to-back strikeouts.
Ashley Ferrara had bravely battled Cosby since the tough opening, keeping them scoreless since the second inning but with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and bases loaded, Cosby strung together three straight RBI hits to make it 10-1.
Broad Run added one more run in the seventh, with Larrabeee and Miller opening the inning with singles. After an out, Madison Small, the offensive hero in the state quarterfinals victory, singled to load the bases. Pugh then drove in a run before Cosby closed the game out with two pop outs.
Cosby (23-5) went on to beat Patrick Henry-Ashland, 3-2, in 10 innings Saturday for the state title.