On paper, Old Mill vs. Broadneck was a girls soccer game with the makings of an offensive shootout, but it turned into an exciting defensive struggle.
Broadneck's senior All-County midfielder Dawn Frederick shadowed Old Mill's primary weapon, sophomore Michelle Salmon (15goals, one assist for the year). Salmon, a member of the Olympic Developmental Program's under-16 regional team, twice hit the crossbar with shots -- once in a first-half one-on-one with the goalie -- but she didn't score.
Meanwhile, Old Mill's junior midfielder Cindy Parulis stayed shoulder-to-shoulder with All-County midfielder Ava Tasker (six goals, one assist), who likewise was rendered ineffective.
Each matchup wasa neat little battle, but the Patriots (6-0) won the war, 3-1, buoyed by a pair of goals from senior striker Teri Lee (five goals, four assists).
"Parulis did a great job on Tasker and Amy Tolley did a great job on Michelle Meyer," said Old Mill coach Bruce Sponsler, whose defending Region II champion Patriots face Glen Burnie next Friday."We did what we wanted to defensively. We wanted to make sure that we isolated those two kids."
The Patriots, who start just four seniors, had outscored their previous opponents, 25-2, with three shutouts. But the Bruins (4-3) entered the game with a three-game winning streak since losing to Severna Park, 2-1, and Chesapeake, 3-0. They have three shutouts and had outscored their last two opponents, 10-1.
Before sophomore Lisa Gallicchio scored her first goal of the seasonto put the Patriots ahead, 1-0, just 10 minutes into the contest, the two teams played evenly.
Gallicchio's 30-yard volley floated over the entire Bruins defense -- including keeper Holly Mowry (five saves).
Amy Adams scored the equalizer at the midpoint, knocking the ball past several players and keeper Jackie Bardelli. But Lee's header off an indirect kick from Stacy Himes gave the Patriots a permanentlead with 40 seconds left in the first half.
Lee's second goal came with two minutes left in the game when she beat Mowry to a ball 10yards out and fired a low shot into the lower right-hand corner.
For the game, the Bruins had an edge in shots, 13-9, and but the Patriots defense of Gallicchio, Nicki Matters and Jennifer Bostak held steady in front of sophomore keeper Jackie Bardelli (eight saves).
"This was a good game. The score was 3-1, but it was a lot closer thanthat," said Broadneck coach David Lord, whose Bruins, the Region IIIrunners-up to Severna Park last year, play host to Queen Anne's nextFriday. "I thought we had our chances but a mistake here or there cost us a couple of goals."