Shooting for another title

Broadneck's Ali Flury wants her high school career to end the way it started - with a lacrosse state crown.

May 10, 2006|By LUKE BROADWATER | LUKE BROADWATER,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The 2003 Class 4A-3A girls lacrosse state championship game between Broadneck and C. Milton Wright came down to a single play.

With the game tied at 8 less than a minute into overtime, Broadneck freshman Ali Flury was fouled near the goal, setting up a penalty shot. With all eyes on her at UMBC, Flury bounced a free-position shot past the Mustangs' goalie, giving Broadneck a come-from-behind win and its second straight state title.

"I never expected the game would come down to a freshman," Flury said, remembering what was perhaps the most important shot of her high school career. "It was big."

That game capped a standout freshman season for Flury, who had 45 goals and 13 assists that year. Now a senior, the All-Metro midfielder is hoping the Bruins can duplicate their 2003 success.

"I would love to be there again," she said of the state final. "I would love to have a better showing than last year."

The past two seasons haven't gone according to Flury's plan. She missed much of her sophomore season because of illness, and her team lost in the regional finals. Even so, Flury managed 29 goals and 35 assists.

As a junior, Flury posted stellar numbers - 65 goals and 17 assists - as Broadneck marched to the state final. But the Bruins were beaten soundly by Dulaney, a loss that still stings Flury.

"We just got blown out," she said of the 9-4 defeat. "We played pretty bad. It was just not our day."

Flury has used the motivation from that loss to spur her to more outstanding numbers in this, her final year of high school lacrosse. She has 48 goals and 15 assists this season.

At 12-2, the Bruins are the top public school team in Anne Arundel County, and Flury's play is a big reason for that success.

"Ali is the type of player that is very coachable, which is such a nice thing to have," Bruins coach Karen Tengwall said. "She has a natural talent. She possesses qualities, like field vision and field sense, that you just can't teach."

According to Tengwall, Flury has the ability to single-handedly turn a game around with a pivotal play.

"She has the ability to say, `OK, it's time for us to get going,' and finds a way to get the ball in the cage," Tengwall said.

Fellow senior captain Jessie Heisterman, who has 25 goals and 25 assists this season, described Flury as the team's workhorse.

"Ali basically always gets things done," she said. "She's the leader. She just is the hardest worker in lacrosse that I've ever played with. Her intensity will not stand for not playing well. She always wants to step it up to the next level."

Said assistant coach Katy Kelley: "I think a lot of the girls look up to her, and in certain situations look to her to guide them and ... get them ready for big games."

Flury also excels in the classroom. With a 3.8 grade point average, Flury is a good role model for the younger players on the squad.

"It's really inspiring to see that she can be a tremendous athlete and still work hard and get high grades," Tengwall said. "It sets a great example for the younger girls."

Flury excels at two other sports, as well. She was one of the leading scorers on Broadneck's basketball team and also was a first-team All-Anne Arundel County selection in soccer this fall.

Next year, Flury will be taking her athleticism to the University of Denver, where she has accepted a lacrosse scholarship.

"It was an opportunity to get out West and go to a developing program," Flury said. "I decided I'd rather go to a school where I'd play all year and make an impact, rather than sitting on the sidelines of a national championship team and not be involved."

Making an impact is something her coaches have come to expect from Flury.

"Ali's proven herself in a lot of clutch times," Kelley said. "She started out as a freshman scoring the winning goal in the state championships and she's continued to come up big for the team. She has moments of special play a lot. It might not be a goal or an assist; sometimes it's just a defensive play. Sometimes with her quickness, she'll just get an interception that just sparks everyone else on.

"With the way she plays, I think she'll be very successful at Denver."

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