Monday, May 05, 2008

Broad Run Gets a Leg Up on Rival

Broad Run Gets a Leg Up on Rival
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 6, 2008; Page E08

Six minutes into Broad Run's 3-1 home victory over Stone Bridge, Spartans goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter ran through Stone Bridge freshman defender Emily Fredrikson, leaving Fredrikson limp at the front right corner of the penalty box and adding new fuel to the rivalry between the two Ashburn girls' soccer powerhouses.

Because No. 4 Stone Bridge (9-3, 5-1 Virginia AAA Liberty District) and No. 5 Broad Run (13-0, 11-0 Virginia AA Dulles District) play in different conferences, last night's meeting meant little in terms of records and postseason posturing, but "It's definitely bragging rights," said Hunter, a UNC Wilmington signee, who had 10 saves last night and has allowed just five goals this season with nine shutouts.

"It's a pride thing. It's Stone Bridge-Broad Run and it's always going to be a big deal," said Broad Run junior forward Kelly Evans (18 goals, 7 assists), who corralled freshman defender Whitney Church's header offering and scored her 18th goal on a one-touch turn-around left-footed ricochet off the crossbar, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.

Less than 40 seconds later, Stone Bridge senior forward Melony Davis (10 goals, 2 assists) answered with a breakaway finish, knotting the game at 1.

Despite being outshot 10-6 in the first half, Broad Run capitalized on fewer scoring chances, taking a 3-1 lead on back-to-back goals from sophomore forward Rachel Tharp and senior forward Carina Chavez. Both scoring sets were kick-started by powerful throw-ins by junior defender Valerie Powell (11 goals, 9 assists).

The victory kept Broad Run undefeated and ended Stone Bridge's win streak at four, but it also did much to improve Broad Run's résumé, which had been built on 12 straight victories against seemingly weaker competition.

"Stone Bridge plays a lot of quality teams during the season and, not to say that we don't, but walking into this game, I knew it was going to be close and I knew that we were comparable," said Broad Run Coach Claire Collins.

Entering last night's game, Broad Run led the Post's Top 10 teams in goals per game (4.8) and shutouts (9) and was second in goals allowed (0.5), but the Spartans had accumulated most of those eye-popping stats against opponents from the Virginia AA Dulles District, where they have dominated in recent seasons.

In playing perhaps the area's most difficult schedule, Stone Bridge entered the rivalry with similar numbers (3.18 goals per game, 0.9 goals allowed, 5 shutouts), sporting a 2-2 record against ranked teams, including losses to No. 6 West Springfield (8-2-1) and No. 2 Woodson (9-2-1) and wins over No. 1 Robinson (10-1) and then fourth-ranked Chantilly (7-2-2).

No. 5 Broad Run 3, No. 4 Stone Bridge 1

College Soccer Hotbed: Last night's matchup featured seven players that have either signed or committed to play college soccer.

Catching a Break: Broad Run successfully defended all four of Stone Bridge's second-half corner kick tries and three free kicks, twice getting unlikely saves from players other than the goalkeeper.

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