Stone Bridge High School (March 25, 2014) — The damp rawness of the overcast afternoon didn’t chill the sports spirits at Stone Bridge High School on Wednesday night, where three varsity contests were held – and where the homestanding Bulldogs did a little spring cleaning up.
Stone Bridge chalked up a blowout win in softball, a solid triumph in boys’ lacrosse and a victory of survival against their bitter rival in girls’ lacrosse to warm the cockles of their fans’ hearts, if nothing else.
Girls’ lacrosse: First shift in Battle of the ‘Burn works overtime
Broad Run’s first comeback was a mini one, a quick two-goal response to the three-goal outburst Stone Bridge opened the game with.
But the Bulldogs (1-1) – powered by the speed of junior midfielder Cara Hawkins and the potent stick of senior middie Kendall Fitzgerald – countered with five straight, commanding a 8-2 lead with 17 minutes left.
That’s when the Spartans (2-1) scored a harmless, innocent goal. They scored another one, nothing fancy, three minutes later. Then another, four minutes after that.
It was 8-5 with nine minutes on the clock and the Spartans just kept winning possessions and securing free-position shots. Their scoring pace increased, with markers at 7:26, 5:38 and 3:44.
But Broad Run’s night of a thousand comebacks wasn’t done. Stone Bridge fans thought Fitzgerald saved their day with a goal at 2:54, but junior attacker Arminta Murphy equalized 90 seconds hence. Overtime – unquestionably improbable just a few minutes prior – was nigh.
Two five-minute extra periods were played, with Stone Bridge’s freshman attacker Morgan Salvato commencing a three-goal run to open scoring. Yet again, Broad Run mounted a comeback to reach a 12-11 deficit, but Fitzgerald added one more – a shot blocked by Broad Run captain goalie Emma Friedenberg that just barely edged across the line – for the final margin of 13-11.
Fitzgerald lead all scorers with five goals, while sophomore Maria Keener had four. Broad Run benefited from four tallies by Julianna Capretti and three net-finders from Alexa Biller.
“That was scary. They have some really great players that we struggled defending,” said Stone Bridge’s first-year head coach Monika Guerrero, who’s coping with the loss of more than a dozen seniors from last year’s region-contending roster.
“But I’m so proud of them. For me as a head coach in my first real big game, being thrown into the fire, I couldn’t ask for more. They really held it together.”
Guerrero is a veteran of six seasons coaching in the Bulldogs’ program – ironic, since the Broad Run graduate spent her teenage years trying, mostly in vain, to beat the hated Bulldogs on the lacrosse field.
Boys’ lacrosse: Second shift in Battle of the ‘Burn works 9 to 5
In the double-header nightcap, the Bulldog boys (3-0) ran off the first six goals, three by junior attacker Colin Jachimowski, within the opening 18 game-minutes. They then coasted to a 9-5 win over Broad Run.
Stone Bridge took a 9-2 lead into the final 90 seconds, but the Spartans showed pride by getting three quick late goals to give the Bulldogs something to think about.
“We came out hot but got a little sloppy in the second half,” said Stone Bridge head coach Scott Mitchell.
Mitchell boasted that he has one of the deepest rosters he’s had in his eight years at the helm – “almost too much talent,” he said – but that can be an issue with only one ball to go around.
“Offensively, we all play better when we play together,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes guys try to get their own, and that leads us to not playing well.”
Freshman attacker Nickolas Cole notched two goals toward Stone Bridge’s effort. The Spartans were led by a pair of tallies from sophomore attacker Kyle Brickerd.
Broad Run goalie Devan Rook made seven saves; Stone Bridge goalie Logan Broadbent made six and earned the assist on the Bulldogs’ first goal, coming way up into the offensive zone to hit Jachimowski with a scoring pass before uproariously celebrating his unexpected dime-dealing.
Softball: Kenny goes boom, twice
Emily Kenny‘s first home run, a blast to right-center, resulted in the first three runs of Stone Bridge’s 20-0, five-inning victory over visiting Westfield. The senior third baseman clocked her second, a line shot to left, for the Bulldogs’ sixth run, and the rout was on.
“Wow, yeah, she’s good,” was overhead uttered by an awestruck classmate around the field.
The blue-and-silver Bulldogs (1-1) got the better of the black-and-gold Bulldogs (0-3) in every inning, scoring three, three, eight and six runs in their four at-bats. Carley Etzweiler doubled twice and singled. Rachel Vera and Maddie Kienbaum smacked two hits apiece. Kenny added two singles and a stolen base to go with four runs scored, exactly the numbers Sarah Boyle produced.
The battery of senior catcher Jordan Cheretis and right-hander Etzweiler earned the shutout. Etweiler extricated herself from a one-out, second-and-third jam with two straight strikeouts to end the second.
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Written by Jason S. Rufner
Special to Viva Loudoun