Leesburg, Va. — As the rain continued to come down, the emotions poured out on the Broad Run sideline. It was four years in the making, but the Spartans field hockey team had finally won their district championship, 2-1, over No. 1 Heritage on October 30 in Leesburg.
“Our goal has always been to be district champs. That’s what we’ve been working for all these years,” Broad Run senior midfielder Kelly Rose said. “We finally have it. It’s just a dream come true.”
After turning in a 3-14 mark in their inaugural 2016 season – Rose’s freshman year – the Spartans went 10-10 in 2017, then 12-8 in 2018.
Broad Run’s 2019 regular season culminated with a win over Loudoun County on October 22 to finish with a 10-6 record heading into tournament play.
Our goal has always been to be district champs. We finally have it. It’s just a dream come true.
—Broad Run captain Kelly Rose
In 2018 tournament play, Broad Run upset then-No. 1 Briar Woods to advance to the Potomac District championship, before falling to Potomac Falls in the district final. In 2019, Rose wasn’t ready to let that happen again.
“We knew we had the opportunity to fight back, and we did,” Rose said. “I’m so proud of this team. We were looking forward to this the entire day.”
For Broad Run, it was all about resetting. After every whistle, every goal, and every timeout, the Spartans cleared their minds, refocused, and reset, readying themselves for the next moment.
“We’re just focusing on resetting when we need to reset, so we can focus on the process and not the outcome,” Broad Run head coach Meg Dudek said. “If we’re doing the right things, the wins should come, and they did.”
So with just over ten minutes to play in a golden-goal overtime, it was no surprise when the Spartans met at the top of the scoring circle after being awarded a penalty corner. Broad Run was resetting.
“We were talking about our resets,” Broad Run junior midfielder Samantha Wootten said. “We wanted to restart, keep a clean mind, and remember this was something special.”
The Spartans broke to their positions. Then the corner was flicked to the top of the circle and passed left to Rose, who flicked a pass to Wootten. Wootten found herself in front of the goal, and with rain in her face, connected on the championship-winning goal.
“I wasn’t expecting it to go in, but I took the shot, and it went in anyway,” Wootten said. “For three years, we’ve almost got to this point. It feels so good to finally get here.”
With eight minutes to play in regulation, Heritage junior midfielder Lindsey Blythe opened the scoring with a goal, as the Pride took a 1-0 lead.
Broad Run never hesitated. The Spartans never wavered.
If we’re doing the right things, the wins should come, and they did.
—Broad Run head coach Meg Dudek
Just 61 seconds after the Heritage goal, Broad Run responded as freshman forward Caroline Towle heard her shot thud in the back of the goal to even things out at 1-1.
“To come back and tie it up with just a few minutes left, it shows great resiliency from the girls,” Dudek said. “They really wanted it.”
From there, the Spartans defended an aggressive Heritage attack to end regulation before the Rose-to-Wootten connection sealed Broad Run’s victory.
Despite falling, Heritage will enter the VHSL Region 4C tournament, where the Pride will host Kettle Run on November 5.
“Both teams played their hearts out,” Heritage head coach Derek Ryan said. “It’s a great game to show where hockey in Loudoun has come to. It was a competitive, clean, hard-fought game.”
The win sends Broad Run into a VHSL Region 4C tournament semifinal where they’ll travel to Liberty on November 5 in hopes of keeping their winning ways alive.
“We’ve been working for four years for this,” Dudek said. “All the pieces are there, and I’m just really proud of our girls.”
|2H||7:21||Broad Run||Caroline Towle||1-1|
|OT||12:02||Broad Run||Samantha Wootten (Kelly Rose assist)||2-1|