Spar­tans are champs once more

BROAD RUN 3, STONE BRIDGE 0

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY BRAN­DON PARKER bran­don.parker@wash­post.com

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.”

JOHN MCDON­NELL/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

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.

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