After yesterday's 5-1 girls soccer loss to Broadneck, the Meade sideline resembled a war zone.
When the game-ending whistle sounded, more than a few Mustang players limped off the field. Two others required ice packs for leg injuries; another lay on the ground in pain while getting a leg massage from third-year coach John O'Neill, who stared up and said, "We got our our butts kicked today, and that's about it."
His visiting Mustangs entered the contest with a 3-0 record, trying to breach the top echelon of county soccer. But they ran into a motivated Bruins squad still smarting from consecutive losses to Severna Park, 2-1, and Chesapeake, 3-0 -- even though Broadneck had shut out South River, 4-0, in its previous game.
The game hinged on the combined abilities of midfielder Ava Tasker and defender Dawn Frederick -- both All-County -- to shackle Meade's All-County forward Amanda Simmons (five goals, seven assists).
Simmons scored to even the game at 1-1 in the first half, improving her career total to 71 goals -- four shy of the county record of 75, set by 1984 Severna Park graduate Colleen Corwell.
But the Broadneck pair answered by leading a midfield attack that shredded the Mustangs' short-passing game. The Bruins led, 3-1, at halftime.
"Ava would mark her up and then stay off of her and then I'd stay on her for a while," said Frederick, whotallied off a corner kick from Michelle Meyer for a 2-1 lead with 14minutes remaining in the first half. "We knew how good of a ball player she was."
Tasker scored her squad's first and final goals, raising her season total to four goals and an assist.
"We played really hard and tried to dominate the game," Tasker said. "We have to putour losses behind us, and we knew we needed a big win today to help do that."
Tasker's 25-yard, left-footed first goal came just 12 minutes into the game. Simmons evened the score midway through the period, taking a low, rolling pass from Jennifer Phillips at the left endline and pushing it across the goal.
Broadneck went up, 3-1, on Frederick's goal and another by Amy Adams, who nailed a header on a cross from Jessica Schmidt past keeper Tere Frelickowski (10 saves).
Joy Verplank opened the second half with the Bruins' fourth goal, putting the game out of reach.
Simmons and defender Kelly Dryden (sixgoals) were freshmen the last time Meade beat Broadneck. They are two of just four seniors on the Mustangs' squad; together, they have been involved in 18 of the Mustangs' 19 goals.
"This was a little disappointing," Simmons said. "They were winning a lot more balls and they were definitely a lot more physical."
Simmons entered the season with 66 goals, one short of the school record set by 1987 graduateJulie McCormick. She surpassed that mark with three goals in the season-opener against Queen Anne's.
Broadneck, last year's Region IIIrunner-up to Severna Park, improved to 3-2. The Bruins next visit Glen Burnie of the 4A Friendship Division on Tuesday.
"We made some adjustments since the beginning of the season," said fifth-year Broadneck coach David Lord, whose Bruins are 1-0 in the Bay Division. "At first, we had a lot of injuries, but now everyone is healthy and I'm strong in a lot of places."
Meade, which plays in the Friendship Division, continues its quest to improve on last year's 6-6 record by playing host to North County Tuesday.