Katie Judd got her biggest play of the season in Centennial’s final league game.

Judd, a defender, came off the bench for Centennial Monday afternoon at Marriotts Ridge and scored with 18 minutes left to give the Eagles a 1-0 win.

“The defense was doing the job so I couldn’t take her out,” said Centennial coach Steve Baxter, “and she ends up getting a goal.”

Then Baxter turned to Judd. “You didn’t let me take you out,” he told her.

Submit a Letter to the Editor for the Laurel Leader, Columbia Flier and Howard County Times

Judd’s second goal of the season is the first the Eagles have scored in three games, and it looked like neither Marriotts Ridge nor Centennial would score in regulation in this league finale.

But midway through the second half, Carolyn Eichhorn sent a corner kick into the goal mouth, and somehow Judd got a touch on the ball in the mad scramble that followed. Her shot cut between keeper Emily McQuarrie and a defender.

“It’s good to come out here and put some good shots up and score,” said Eichhorn.

Judd came off the bench midway through the first half and “made an immediate impact at outside back,” Baxter said. “She dominated her position, played with a lot of heart and … made it impossible for me to take her out of the game.”

Marriotts Ridge had an opportunity to tie the game four minutes later. Morgan Crable dribbled through the midfield, passed off to Zoe Stukenberg at the top of the box and then got the ball back. Centennial keeper Lindsay Davis made a big play on Crable’s shot to keep Marriotts Ridge off the scoreboard. Davis had eight saves in the game.

Crable, “who I know is playing hurt, is outstanding,” said Baxter. “We were very impressed with her presence in the midfield and ability to always be involved in the play. Great players have a way of always being a factor and Morgan was a player we knew we needed to focus on.” 

Centennial travels to Annapolis for a first-round Class 3A East regional playoff game Oct. 26.

River Hill is the top seed in 3A East and will host the winner of the Oct. 26 Mt. Hebron at J.M. Bennett contest.

“It is really good to go into the playoffs with a win, especially against a very good team,” said Judd.

“We recovered from a very slow start to the season to win six of our last eight games,” said Baxter. “We know we have work to do to be able to advance in the playoffs."

Marriotts Ridge drew the second seed in the Class 2A North regional playoffs and will play the winner of Friday’s Glenelg at Dundalk game. Chesapeake has the top seed in the region.

But for now, Marriotts Ridge is just concentrating on getting healthy.

“With all my injuries, coaching in these final games has become more like a juggling act,” said coach Robin Grey, who had just two healthy starters in the lineup against Centennial.

One of the missing starters was keeper Jenna Bergquist, who was injured in a loss to Reservoir a week ago and is wearing a soft cast. In her place, freshman McQuarrie, pulled up from the JV, got her first varsity start and had six saves.

“We’ve got girls filling some big shoes as we work through these injuries,” said Grey. “With all of the injuries and the constant adjustments I have had to make to our line-up, I feel like my girls have lost their mojo.”

Off the bench, on the front line

Jennifer Yahiro has sat on the sidelines all fall, nursing an injury.