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Broad Run Boys’ Defense Shutting Down Opponents

Spartans’ Shane Johnson has missed recent action with injury.

The Broad Run High boys’ soccer team earned its fifth shutout victory of the season with a 3-0 Dulles District road win over Briar Woods last week.

The Spartans (6-3 overall record, 6-2 in the district) do not have a high-powered offense this season. But they have scored enough times to contribute to the team’s pretty fare win-loss record.

The bread and butter of Broad Run’s success is its outstanding defense. Opponents have only found the net on six occasions this spring.

"That’s what we’ve been banking on," said Broad Run coach Jonathan Hicks, referring to his team’s stellar defense. "From day one we’ve been counting on those guys."

Broad Run has been without senior defensive standout Shane Johnson, who missed three straight games, including the contest with Briar Woods, because of a tight hamstring.

"He’s overall our best player," said Hicks. He’s our target man for throw-ins and corner kicks."

Hicks was hoping Johnson, a stalwart defender who can also help the team offensively from the striker position when needed, might be ready for action again this week.

Broad Run, in Johnson’s absence, has received outstanding defensive play from both Spencer Martin, a sophomore right back, and freshman right center back Taylor Johnson, Shane’s younger brother.

The Spartans have received stellar play in the net from goalies Marvin Brewer, a senior, and freshman Paul Hegadus. Brewer generally starts contests with Hegadus seeing time later in matches.

Both net minders bring different skills to the position.

"Marvin is 6-3 and 180 pounds, and just athletic," said the coach. "He comes out and makes tremendous plays. Paul is 5-6. His decision-making and the way he controls the defense [are his attributes]. He’s been playing since an early age."

<b>BROAD RUN</b> has scored 11 goals on offense this season. Senior midfielder Jake Leahy and sophomore Danny Reteagui both have three goals.

Broad run’s wins this spring have come over district opponents Briar Woods, Loudoun County, Dominion, Freedom and Potomac Falls. Losses in the Dulles have come to Park View and Heritage.

Going into this week, Broad Run was a game behind first place Heritage in the district standings.

The win over Potomac Falls, a 2-0 victory, was one of the season’s biggest for the Spartans thus far. The Panthers are three-time defending district and Region II champions and have one of the state’s best players, Uche Onyeador, in their line-up.

Many coaches elect to have a marking player focus on Onyeador when going up against Potomac Falls. Hicks, in the recent meeting between the two teams, had a different game plan. Instead of having Johnson exclusively mark Onyeador, Hicks felt his team would be better served by keeping Johnson in the middle of the defense.

"We played [Onyeador] straight up," said Hicks, who did not want Johnson following Onyeador all over the field.

Over the past eight years, Potomac Falls has captured five district crowns, while Broad Run has three.

"It was a nice win for us," said Hicks, of the recent triumph over the Panthers. "It’s a good rivalry."

The win over Potomac Falls snapped a two-game losing streak for the Spartans, who have never lost three in a row during coach Hicks’ five years at the helm of the program.

Broad Run was scheduled to play a district road game at Heritage on Tuesday of this week.