Arundel's leading scorer, Mike Kovach, likes to wander the field, constantly searching for the best place to take control of the ball.
In Wednesday night's Anne Arundel County matchup at No. 10 Broadneck, Kovach often jogged back through the midfield to distance himself from the Bruins defenders and find open space. Those types of ballhawking instincts were the difference as Kovach and Billy Fowler scored two first-half goals in four minutes to lead the ninth-ranked Wildcats to a 2-0 victory.
Arundel earned a spot in the District V title game Tuesday against the Howard County regular-season champion and clinched the top seed in the Class 4A East regional playoffs. Kovach has 16 goals and three assists this season, scoring in 10 of Arundel's 14 games.
"In our system, the forwards have to do a lot of work, and we try to play the ball quick and move off the ball a lot," Kovach said. "All of my success comes from everyone else around me. My entire midfield played great the entire year. I don't score any goals unless it's for them."
The Bruins (11-3) created several chances in the opening minutes with a shot by Evan Camm sailing just wide of the far post. The Wildcats (11-0-3) had some success playing the ball between the Bruins defenders, but Niedermeier stayed in control of the penalty area.
Fowler gave the Wildcats the lead when he fired in a half-volley from about 18 yards in the 31st minute. Four minutes later, he took a pass from Joon Lee and slotted the ball into the far corner.
"It was a great regular season," Arundel coack Nick Jauschnegg said. "A lot of the seniors on this team played as sophomores, so this has been a building process. I think the difference with this year's team is that when we get chances to score, we score some goals."
The Bruins continued to attack and won the majority of loose balls in the midfield. However, Arundel's defenders were able to clear any dangerous chances. Josh Schwartz nearly pulled the Bruins within a goal with 16 minutes remaining, but Arundel goalie Ryan Bagley made a diving stop on his dipping shot from about 25 yards.
"Kovach was outstanding tonight," Broadneck coach Sean Tettemer said. "Their whole team was outstanding. It was a very well-played game. They were quick to the ball."