Broadneck capitalized on this season's overtime experiences to edge fourth-ranked Severna Park, 2-1, in a soccer shootout last night in the state regional semifinals.
"This is our territory. We've been here all year long," said Bruins coach Kevin McMullen, imploring his 13th-ranked squad before the two 10-minute overtime periods at Anne Arundel Community College.
Just as in four previous contests this fall, the Bruins played both extra sessions without scoring. But state rules call for a shootout so a winner can advance in the tournament.
"We were well prepared," said Matt Wiemer, whose penalty kick gave the Bruins an insurmountable 6-3 edge in the 10th round of the shootout. (All 11 players from each team alternate taking penalty kicks until one team gains the victory.)
McMullen agreed it was fitting that Wiemer got the game-winner. The Bruins had struggled on attack all season until the coach shifted his lanky junior from stopper back to center striker.
"We had our backs to the wall all season," said McMullen. "One more tie and we wouldn't even have made it here."
Broadneck (7-2-4) held a decided advantage in regulation, outshooting the Falcons, 17-10. The Bruins controlled midfield play, especially in the air, but managed only a first-half rebound goal from Johnny Williams.
Severna Park had grabbed an early lead when Brian Peterson drilled a leftfooted shot by Bruins goalkeeper Sean Tettemer.
"Severna Park has some great players," said Williams. "They're a 12-month-a-year team. They always play together. We're more of a bunch of athletes who get together in season to play soccer."
Williams nearly got a second rebound goal in overtime, but Severna Park defender Kevin Shultz stopped the ball with his body.
"He played it very well, or we wouldn't have needed a shootout," said Williams.
After each team missed penalty kicks in the first round, Broadneck sweeper back Jarrett Smith, defender Dave Apple, and Williams put the Bruins ahead 3-0 after four rounds, before Severna Park's Mark Casper could get a shot past Tettemer.
"I felt very confident," said Tettemer. "Even when I missed my penalty kick, I just thought, 'Hey, I'm a keeper and I've only practiced penalty kicks for two days. I'm not supposed to score goals.' I just didn't let it bother me."
Tettemer made saves in two of the next three rounds, setting the stage for Wiemer to close out the victory in the 10th round. The Bruins' top scorer, Rich Aftoora, didn't even have to post for the final round.
"My first couple shooters are set, but after that I play it by feel," said McMullen, explaining the order in which he chose his players to take the penalty shots. "We beat a very good team with an excellent soccer tradition and program. We're very happy to be advancing."
The Bruins will face North County, which also had to go to a shootout to beat LaPlata, 3-2, in the other Class 4A/Region IV semifinal. The teams had played to a 2-2 tie through regulation and two overtimes. North County is tentatively scheduled to host Broadneck Saturday at 7 p.m., with a final site and time determination to be made later today.
The three other top teams in The Evening Sun poll were also in action yesterday. As expected No. 3 Centennial stopped Liberty, 4-0, in a Class 3A, Region I semifinal. But in the other semifinal, there was a mild surprise, as No. 2 Oakland Mills stopped top-ranked Howard, 1-0, on Malcolm Gillian's goal in the sixth minute of overtime.