By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/26/19
He had won 428 games as a high school coach in 23 years at Springfield-Delco, lost in three previous state finals and had won seven District 1 championships, but Keith Broome was tired of wondering when he might win a state title.
“It’s been really hard for me; we’ve been really successful and we won District 1 titles when there were no state championships,” said Broome. “It’s difficult when you work so hard for so long and only to see the girls on the opposing team celebrate a state title and you’re watching your girls crying. It gets old giving your girls second-place medals – they don’t really want them.”
After some ups and down, Broome’s Cougars delivered his first state title in June when they toppled defending champion and two-time District 1 champ Villa Maria Academy, 10-8, at West Chester East. For his accomplishments, Broome has been named Co-Coach of the Year for girls teams with Harritons George Dick.
“It was such a great feeling to finally be able to give Mr. Broome the state title that he has deserved for so many years,” said Springfield-Delco senior All-American midfielder Belle Mastropietro. “I don’t think he’s ever had a losing season at Springfield, and it was so special that my teammates and I were able to finally finish the season strong and win.”
“I think that our hard work and determination were two reasons that we were so successful this year, and those were things Mr. Broome continually talked about at practice.”
Broome said the team turned it season around after losing consucutive games in late April to Archbishop Carroll and Harriton.
“We had a team meeting and we talked about things after those two pretty humbling losses and that turned the corner for us,” said Broome, who also has coached middle school field hockey and basketball at Springfield for nearly three decades. “The kids took ownership after that and we won eight of our last nine.
“The big one was beating (eventual District 1 champion) Conestoga in our last Central League game. We were playing better and we carried that into the playoffs.”
Mastropietro said Broome’s confidence in his players pays off.
“Mr. Broome always pushes us to be the best we can be. He has helped me, and my game, grow so much over the past four years,” said the Temple signee. “He taught me to be confident and to never doubt my abilities.
“I used to be so nervous to mess up during games, but the trust he put in me time and time again really showed me that he believed in me, just like he believes in every girl on our team. I definitely wouldn’t be the player I am today without his help.”
Broome credited his assistants and noted that many of his former players have come back to coach with he and longtime assistant Kathleen Geiger. This year he had former Cougar standouts Jaclyn Eastman Greiner, Sarah Geary Damato and Aly Gormley on staff.
“I think expectations were very high going in,” Broome said. “We had a really good senior group. It was just really nice to be on the winning end finally in states.”