Century High School traveled Marriotts Ridge Wednesday looking to knock off the undefeated Mustangs girls soccer team in a key out-of-county match.
And, for 78 minutes, it looked like the Knights had done just that.
Late in the second half, Marriotts Ridge (5-0, 2-0) was down a goal. Coach Robin Grey made a “risky” decision to change her team’s formation, adding an additional player up top to provide one last offensive push.
With just under two minutes remaining in the game, the Mustangs crowded the box in front of Century keeper Lindsay Wagner and knocked in the tying goal.
“Honestly, it was heart in those last final moments,” the elated coach said after the game. “I couldn’t tell you who scored that goal, and I don’t even think (the players) know.
“They said it was one big mass.”
Following the goal that sent the game into overtime, the Mustangs capitalized on getting a second chance. No more than five minutes into extra time, Jenna Boulin connected with Leah Zadjura, who sent a shot past Wagner for the win.
“I just feel like, in overtime, we all had heart,” Zadjura said, echoing her coach. “I stopped (Jenna’s pass) and looked for the keeper. Then I just kicked it around her.”
Early on, it seemed as though Marriotts Ridge was constantly playing from behind. Although Century didn’t score until 22 minutes into the second half on a Jaci Breon goal, the Mustangs found themselves stuck on defense more often than they may have liked.
“In the first half, I thought we got a little frazzled,” Grey said. “We’re not used to a team that plays a style similar to us…it was frustrating for our girls.”
The Knights had a myriad of chances at Marriotts Ridge keeper Jenna Bergquist, who finished the day with nine saves. Grey said she couldn’t be happier with her senior captain’s performance in the net.
“Jenna is our rock in the back,” she said. “She stepped up her game huge. I’m glad she’s on our team.”
Marriotts Ridge was playing without key defender Abbey Blum, who was out sick for the game. The Mustangs also lost Morgan Hochuli late in the match with an injury.
These personnel issues proved to be crucial, according to Bergquist.
“Everyone was in positions that they haven’t played all season, and we pulled through,” she said.
“Honestly, this game made me so happy. I can’t stop smiling. Coming back at the end like that, it just shows the heart that this team has.”
Marriotts Ridge will play its third game of the week Friday against county-rival Wilde Lake.