By MIKE SMITH
With a number of returning stars and a talented crop of underclassmen, the Bronxville Broncos could be poised for big things in 2014.
On March 27, the team proved as much with a decisive opening-day win over Fox Lane, downing the Foxes 13-9 to kick off the season on the right foot.
Led by its seven senior starters, the Broncos closed out strong against Fox Lane, outscoring their opponents 8-3 in the second half.
Senior Gretchen Richter tallied six goals and three assists in the win and was helped out by two-goal games from sophomore Lilly Grass and senior Ellie Walsh.
According to Bronxville coach Sharon Robinson, this type of well-rounded offensive performance could be a calling card for the Broncos this year.
“We’re hoping to have a team that distributes the scoring equally,” Robinson said. “But Gretchen is going to be a focal point for us as a four-year starter, and Lilly Grass was All-League as a freshman last year.”
While the Broncos’ attack figures to be potent, Robinson said, the squad’s defense should benefit from some veteran leadership.
Against the Foxes, Bronxville held a late 13-7 lead before two late goals–when the game was already out of reach–were able to close the gap a bit.
“We’ve got four seniors starting on defense this year, which helps because they’ve been playing together for a while now,” Robinson said. “Beyond that, we’ve got subs for them so we are very deep defensively.”
The Broncos will need both units to be working this year as they prepare for a tough regular season schedule that offers few breaks in the action. Playing in a league with top Class AA squads like Mamaroneck, Scarsdale and White Plains should prove a welcome challenge for the Class B Broncos.
“It’s a really tough schedule, there’s a lot of parity,” Robinson said. “Last year, we split with White Plains; lost two close one-goal games to Mamaroneck. I don’t know who everyone brings back this year, but I think it’s a really good league.”
The Broncos continued their season on March 31 with a 14-4 win over Byram Hills before traveling to Pelham on April 3 to take on the Pelicans after press time.
Despite the promising signs coming off the first two games of the season, Robinson said that she knows the team still has areas in which it can improve.
“We’re always looking to get better every day,” she said. “Whether it’s transition; working on our rides, there’s always room to improve. But we have very high expectations this year.”