For Broadneck's boys soccer team, the school year has just begun, yet it is already time for report cards.
The grades will come in tonight when the sixth-ranked Bruins (1-1) face Chesapeake-Anne Arundel at 7:30.
"Chesapeake. Now, that's a big game," coach Kevin McMullen said in the wake of Broadneck's 2-0 defeat at No. 3 Severna Park last night. The loss left Broadneck's playoff boat listing, if not actually dead in the water.
McMullen downplayed the game all week, but saw enough to leave him visibly concerned heading into Chesapeake. He was most disturbed by his defending state finalists' inability to finish scoring opportunities in a first half that it dominated.
"We have to capitalize on those early opportunities. We didn't, and then we gave up a soft goal [by Mike Crawford]," he said. "To play at this level, you can't give up goals like that."
Crawford's first-half score, on a ball rebounding off Bruins goalkeeper Mike Smith, preceded a superb hookup between Brian Peterson and Ryan Voegtlin, whose left-footed rocket from 15 yards capped the scoring with 25 minutes to play.
Broadneck, meanwhile, was squandering its chances.
Brian Berger fanned on a shot at a wide-open goal and Josh Jefferds fired wide after the Falcons' David Rupert misplayed a wet ball backward. The Bruins equaled Severna Park in shots, 11-11, but didn't come close to scoring otherwise.
"We just didn't cash in," said McMullen, whose Bruins also were frustrated by Severna Park's compact zone and short passing in the second half.
Broadneck must now complete what could be a disastrous 24-hour road swing. "Chesapeake is report card time for us," McMullen said. "This match is an indicator of where we can go. Tonight, we'll find out if we have the potential to be great."
Goals by halfbacks Amy Carnaggio and Nicki Cecere proved just enough for Severna Park's top-ranked girls to win their 42nd straight game and remain undefeated in their last 49 (48-0-1) with a 2-1 defeat of Broadneck last night.