The Broadneck and Old Mill girls lacrosse teams both stumbled out ofthe gate this year, but only the Bruins have righted themselves.
They won their fourth straight game yesterday after an 0-2 start, defeating Old Mill, 15-6, at Anne Arundel Community College.
Senior Michelle Meyer continued to thrive at her center position with five goals and an assist. She was projected as a defender at thestart of the season.
Senior Becca Fink had three goals and two assists, and junior Megan McEwen scored three goals.
"Our passing game looked beautiful. All the way down the field, it was very pretty,"said Bruins first-year coach Leann Shuck, whose team opened the season with losses to Annapolis, 8-4, and Severna Park, 8-7. "We're getting together now. A lot of these girls hadn't picked up a stick until the first day of practice."
At 2-6, the Patriots still haven't regrouped after losing their first three games. Second-year coach Bruce Sponsler thought his team was ready to make a run at the playoffs after going 8-6 last season, but now he says, "I was optimistic and I guess I was wrong."
"We lost three games that could have gone eitherway for us and that would have given us five wins at this point. Nowwe have Broadneck (April 24), Annapolis, Severna Park and Seton Keough coming up. There's a chance we could turn around and play better, but we can't look at wins and losses as a measure of success."
ThePatriots' schedule wasn't conducive to a fast start, not with games against South River (an 8-7 loss), Southern (17-11) and St. Mary's (20-6). They also lost to Chesapeake, a Class 4A/3A state finalist lastseason, 15-14, and to Arundel on Friday, 7-5.
"Our defense is pretty strong, but we're having problems on offense," said senior midfielder Suzanne Martin, who scored once yesterday to raise her team-leading goal total to 25. "We have these little spurts where sometimes wedo really good, and other games we're really low. It's been frustrating, but I think we can turn things around. It's never too late."
Old Mill fell behind early yesterday, as Meyer scored off a Fink pass24 seconds into the game. McEwen converted a free position shot at 1minute, 44 seconds, and Meyer scored on a give-and-go with Karen Chesley (one goal, one assist) at 3:16.
Fink then blew past two defenders and scored with 21 minutes left, and Broadneck had four goals off its first five shots.
"We get behind early and then the girls get a little bit down," Sponsler said. "They don't realize they're still in the game. Anything can happen."
Something good did happen with 17:14 remaining, when Martin spun off Broadneck defender J. K. Schmidt and scored to reduce the lead to 4-1. Broadneck was denied on itsnext four shots by Old Mill senior keeper Erin Kennedy, and the Patriots' Michelle Salmon scored with 9:07 left.
Salmon finished with four goals, giving her 23 on the season.
Broadneck led, 6-3, at halftime, and 8-3 with 18:08 left in the game. The Patriots would get within four goals twice in the second half, the last time at 10-6 on aSalmon goal with 6:58 left.
"Old Mill is a good team and we knew they could give us a run," Shuck said. "We practiced our doubling in the midfield, things we knew they did that we could beat them at. They don't pass to the midfield and all we had to do was double them to get the turnover."
Sponsler said, "Broadneck has so many better-skilled athletes at this sport than we do that it takes every ounce of effort we have just to stay with them.".
Broadneck's Melissa Mantolato, Missy Lewandowski and Suzie Goodrich each scored one goal. Cindy Botts scored once for Old Mill.