The Morning Call

Em­maus’ Bruns twins hope to go out cham­pi­ons

- By Tim Shoe­maker Sports · College Sports · Madison · Maryland · University of Maryland · United States of America · Michigan · Iowa · University of Iowa · Georgetown University · George Town · Boston College · Boston Bruins · Clemson, SC · South Carolina · Virginia · Field Hockey · Whitehall, Michigan

Madi­son Bruns has one more com­pet­i­tive field hockey game left, and her twin sis­ter, Mackenzie, might be done af­ter to­day, too.

It will be at the same venue where the dream be­gan: White­hall High School’s Ze­phyr Sports Com­plex. The Bruns twins be­gan dream­ing of play­ing in a state cham­pi­onship game while watch­ing Em­maus win its state-record 12th ti­tle in 2016.

Af­ter three years of nearmisses, Em­maus is back in the state cham­pi­onship game for the 16th time in school history.

Em­maus (15-0) will try to win its 13th state cham­pi­onship when it meets Dis­trict 3 cham­pion Cen­tral Dauphin (14-1) in the PI A A Class 3 A ti­tle gameat 3 p.m. at White­hall.

This one will not be easy. The Rams are in the state cham­pi­onship game for the first time and won their first dis­trict ti­tle this year, but have the con­sen­sus top high school player in the coun­try in Univer­sity of Mary­land signee Hope Rose, who has scored 90 goals — yes, 90 — this year, an av­er­age of six goals per game.

At 232 ca­reer goals, Rose is the third-lead­ing scorer in U.S. high school history. She passed for­mer Em­maus star Mered­ith Sholder (217) ear­lier this sea­son. Cen­tral Dauphin also has Emmy Tran, whosigned with Michi­gan, Buck­nell re­cruit Han­nah Guar­ante and Bella Culp (Blooms­burg).

“We’ve def­i­nitely heard of [Rose, No. 11] and she’s def­i­nitely in the back of our minds, but we’ve been fo­cus­ing on play­ing well as a unit,” Madi­son Bruns said. “We have to stick to our plan of play­ing as a unit and trust­ing each other. We have to not over­think and just play how we play.”

“We feel great,” Em­maus coach Sue Butz-Stavin said. “We’re play­ing for the cham­pi­onship. We’re very grate­ful to be able to play, that we per­se­vered and kept our men­tal tough­ness, which was the strong­est thing that we needed to do all sea­son. We had to adapt and en­dure to play a game that they love to play.”

The Bruns sis­ters, Univer­sity of Iowa re­cruit An­nika Her­bine, goalie Bai­ley Ti­etz (Ge­orge­town) and Olivia Chase are Em­maus’ se­nior starters. De­fend­ers Kyleigh Faust and Brooke Mancini, mid­field­ers Abby Bur­nett and Jenna Vil­leneuve, and for­wards Rachel Her­bine, Alexis Ko­ciban and Ava Zer­fass have been Em­maus’ reg­u­lars.

“This group of se­niors has been dis­ap­pointed from their fresh­man to their sopho­more to their ju­nior year, los­ing in the semi­fi­nal round,” Butz-Stavin said. “A goal was to play in the state cham­pi­onship game. They made it this far. They will play hard. It’s a cham­pi­onship game. We know it’s go­ing to be a tough game.”

Madi­son Bruns is hop­ing to at­tend Bos­ton Col­lege to study neu­ro­science — she has ap­plied for early ad­mis­sion .Her sis­ter Mackenzie is look­ing at big schools in the South — Clem­son, South Carolina and Vir­ginia Tech amongthem— to study en­vi­ron­men­tal marine science.

They play on the left side of the field — Madi­son at back and Maken­zie at mid­field — and have val­ued their time to­gether in green and yel­low. Madi­son does not plan to play on a col­lege team. Mackenzie might if her col­lege of choice has a team.

“[Play­ing with Mackenzie] has been one of the re­ward­ing and spe­cial things that we both can cher­ish,” she said. “We’ve been through all of these lessons. When some things don’t go her way or some things don’t go my way … we do a re­ally good job of pick­ing each other up. … There have been days when I come home from prac­tice, and I’ve been down on my­self, and she’s been there for every tear, through every in­jury. I can’t thank her enough for it.”

The two reg­u­larly work to­gether in drills that re­quire two play­ers.

“Em­maus field hockey is a top pro­gram and it’s very rig­or­ous,” Mackenzie said. “It’s in­tense, so hav­ing my sis­ter there makes it seem a lit­tle less in­tense. It re­minds me that this is high school field hockey and it’s OK to make a mis­take. She knows me in­side and out; we were in the womb to­gether. No mat­ter what, she’s al­ways there. I don’t know how I could have done it with­out her.”

Mackenzie is about one minute older, but does not play the card of the older sis­ter.

“It’s nice be­cause you have that fam­ily on the field and you have that re­minder that when things get so big and so in­tense,” Mackenzie said. “You have fam­ily on the field and no mat­ter what, she’s on your side. It re­minds methat I amhome.”

 ?? DOU­GLAS KILPATRICK/ SPECIALTOT­HE MORN­ING CALL ?? Em­maus se­nior field hockey play­ers Madi­son, left, and Mackenzie Bruns will be on the field to­gether one last time when the Green Hor­nets square off against Cen­tral Dauphin in the PIAA Class 3A cham­pi­onship game on Satur­day at White­hall.
DOU­GLAS KILPATRICK/ SPECIALTOT­HE MORN­ING CALL Em­maus se­nior field hockey play­ers Madi­son, left, and Mackenzie Bruns will be on the field to­gether one last time when the Green Hor­nets square off against Cen­tral Dauphin in the PIAA Class 3A cham­pi­onship game on Satur­day at White­hall.

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