Broadneck’s girls lacrosse team was crowned the Maryland 4A champion over rival Arundel High School in a hard-fought 12-11 battle on June 19. The victory culminated in an undefeated year for the Bruins, and the championship game was played in front of a raucous and capacity crowd at Loyola University.
The Bruins had a young squad coming into this year and Coach Katy Kelley relied on a handful of seniors to get the talented young players ready for the competitive county league.
“We only had four returning seniors on this squad, so I knew I had to be a leader and help any way I could,” Abe said. “Not having a season last year because of the pandemic really hurt our momentum because we had amazing seniors last year and could have won the state championship last year.”
It was a difficult year for Abe and her teammates last year as they missed the esprit de corps of practices and games.
“Coach Kelley is an amazing coach,” Abe said. “We’re extremely lucky to have all of our coaches. Last year with the pandemic, she arranged Zoom calls to keep us inspired, and then this fall, we had motivational speakers to help us focus on lacrosse and the upcoming season.”
Kelley recounted how Abe stepped into the 2021 season as one of the Bruins’ most experienced players.
“She truly embraced this opportunity in all aspects of the game: in her play, her discipline and her willingness to lead and grow her younger counterparts,” Kelley said. “Her mature play, alongside the fact she has fun on the field, has allowed her to thrive this season as a player and has been integral for our success and in maintaining the culture and mindset of our Broadneck lacrosse program.”
Abe started playing lacrosse in first grade and developed her skills and leadership ability playing club lacrosse in the competitive county leagues. Abe credits her many coaches who have instructed her along the way, but one coach, Mark Allgaier, made his mark with her in the Pure club team. “He taught me toughness and never quit no matter what the score may be,” Abe said.
Abe answered the challenge that Kelley posed to her this year.
“I love it,” said the gregarious Abe when asked about being a leader for her younger teammates. “I respect my younger teammates and they are all so talented. I just lead by example and focus on doing the drills correctly and taking them seriously.”
Broadneck accomplished a perfect record this year and Abe contributes that to how they approach each game.
“We respect every opponent, and we really support one another on the field,” Abe said. “I also believe that our camaraderie is one of our strengths and we have amazing trust in each other to make the correct pass or shot.”
One of the other aspects of this tight-knit squad is that the players are friends off the field as well. They have traditional team breakfasts after Saturday morning practices and help one another with assignments and advice.
“I’ll miss many things about Broadneck, but one of the things I’ll miss most is the bus rides home after games with the singing and dancing on the bus,” Abe said.
One of the games Abe will remember the most was the thrilling double-overtime game with Severna Park in the playoffs. The Bruins fell behind 6-1 and clawed their way back to eventually beat the Falcons.
“We fought so hard that game, it was ridiculous, how we slowly came back and won at the end,” Abe said. “The celebration after that was incredible.”
Abe has received a lacrosse scholarship from UMBC and will take her leadership skills and talents to the Catonsville campus. Abe will help a young and talented Retriever team strive for a NCAA championship.
In partnership with The Matt Wyble Team of Century 21, the Voice’s Student-Athlete of the Month series recognizes the many student-athletes in our area who make an impact not necessarily by way of statistics or stardom, but by their unique contributions. Contact Zach Sparks at email@example.com to nominate a young person in our community making a positive impact through sports.