Spartans are champs once more
BROAD RUN 3, STONE BRIDGE 0
Leaning forward with her shoulders square, Emma Kerns took her mark on the Broad Run sideline.
Once a 6-year-old ball girl for the Spartans girls’ soccer team, the sophomore forward had witnessed the highs — a four-year reign as Virginia state champs— and the lows — a penalty shootout loss in the 2012 state final— that helped pave the way to Saturday’s 5A championship game at Robinson.
So when the referee whistled a foul in the final 30 seconds of Broad Run’s 3-0 victory over Stone Bridge, a jubilant Kerns nearly bolted onto the field before her giggling teammates signaled her back behind the line.
“I’ve watched my sister and our upperclassmen go through so much to get here, and I was so ready to celebrate that I couldn’t even think straight,” said Kerns, who netted the game’s final goal on a 15-yard shot in the 75th minute. “It’s such a great feeling to finally win, especially for these seniors.”
Aweek after Stone Bridge (155-3) handed Broad Run its lone loss in the 5ANorth region final, it was those seniors who helped ensure that both the season and their high school careers ended on a positive note.
To contain Bulldogs forward Amy Thompson, Spartans Coach Claire Collins had two defenders shadow the All-Met freshman. And when senior Lexi Taylor went down in the fourth minute with a leg injury, fouryear starters Sara Deutsch and Caroline Kerns dropped back to help on defense.
Then in the 23rd minute, Kerns poked an assist through the defense to Kara Kimberl for the game’s first score. Deutsch followed that up 13 minutes later with a close-range goal off an assist by fellow senior Steph Stahl to give Broad Run (20-1-1) a commanding 2-0 halftime lead.
“The last time we played, we weren’t into it like we should’ve been,” Kimberl said. “But we knew today was it, and we played like we wanted it more.”
Indeed, the Spartans were again playing for 24, the rallying cry for a campaign devoted to recapturing their past glory and remembering their classmate, Madison Small, who passed away in April.
“This season was about more than just a state title,” Collins said of the school’s sixth girls’ soccer championship. “It was about playing for yourself, your team and a higher power.”
Broad Run’s Wilder James (21) has his shot kicked away by Daniel Ahrens ofMills Godwin, which scored twice in the second half to beat the defending champion Spartans in the Virginia 5A title game in Fairfax.