Puzak's rebound, saves power Broadneck past Dulaney to first crown

Coming off a poor game, she stops 13

Richards, Scott provide offense, 10-3

Class 4A-3A state girls lacrosse

High Schools

May 22, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Broadneck goalie Melissa Puzak was under all kinds of pressure in yesterday's Class 4A-3A state lacrosse championship.

The barrage of Dulaney shots she expected, of course. But being at the bottom of a victory dog pile, well, that was something she'd seen only in her dreams.

Puzak made 13 big saves as fifth-ranked Broadneck won its first-ever state championship, downing Dulaney, 10-3, at UMBC. The win had extra significance for Puzak, who shook off a shaky performance in the Bruins' semifinal win against Whitman Saturday.

"My coach kept telling me [after Saturday] that it happens to everybody," Puzak said. "But it was a tough thing to go through. I lost a lot of confidence in myself. I knew this was going to be a mental game for me, and I had to overcome what happened last time."

Puzak was sharp right from start, and her confidence grew with each stop. Meanwhile, her teammates put all kinds of pressure on the Lions' defense, and thanks to three first-half goals by Kate Scott, Broadneck (16-3) took a 7-1 lead into halftime.

"Melissa definitely made up for anything last game," Scott said. "She stepped up big time and played excellent. On offense, we knew we just needed to put pressure on them and we'd be fine."

Scott, who will play next season for George Mason, and teammate Brooke Richards, who will play next year at Maryland, were simply too much for the Lions (10-5-1) to handle. Richards had three assists and a goal, and Allie Johnson and Stephanie Jones each chipped in two scores.

"They were just an incredible team," said Dulaney coach Tina Wasowicz. "They knew each other so well, and they knew where to go on every possession. Not only are they a great team, but they came to play today. I was impressed."

For Dulaney, the frustration was familiar. The Lions scored only 112 goals during the season (compared with 251 for Broadneck) and, according to Wasowicz, yesterday was a prime example of why. Though Dulaney got 20 shots on goal, most were well within Puzak's reach. All three of the Lions' goals came on loose-ball rebounds in front of the net, two by Lindsay Dale and one by Katie Leyland.

"We've had the same problem all year," Wasowicz said. "We have not been shooting where the goalie isn't. Hopefully next year, we'll be more mature."

Broadneck's maturity was evident. With a big second-half lead, the Bruins controlled the clock and kept the ball out of Dulaney's hands to wrap up the victory, and in the post-game celebration they piled on top of Puzak. During the trophy ceremony, Broadneck whipped out ready-made T-shirts with "Broadneck: 2002 State Champions" stenciled on the back.

"We didn't know about the T-shirts, but I guess our school had them made up before the game," Scott said. "I guess it was a risk they were willing to take. We were determined to win today."

Goals: B-Scott 3, Johnson 2, Jones 2, Richards, O'Shanick, Coe. D-Dale, Leyland. Assists: B-Richards 3, Gappert, Scott. Saves: B-Puzak 13. D-King 7. Half: B, 7-1.

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