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.
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.
But on Oct. 22, in Chapelgate’s last regular-season game, Yahiro got into the lineup for the first time this season. Six minutes into the second half, Yahiro — now recovered from an ACL injury — got her foot on a deflected shot and put in her first goal of the season.
But Yahiro’s goal, as well as two from Lydia Frierson, were for naught as Garrison Forest beat the hosts, 6-3, in Chapelgate’s senior game.
Frierson’s goals were her 30th and 31st of the season for the Yellowjackets, now 2-9 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland’s B Conference.
After winning the C Conference two straight years, a move up to a tougher division and the loss of many seniors, Chapelgate has struggled.
Yet, said Yahiro, the season “hasn’t been so bad. We are building a team for future years. Some girls have never played soccer before. It’s a totally different team, but it is so much fun. I’ve loved getting to know these girls.”
“I think we’ve surprised some people just because of our heart,” Frierson said. “Coming into the season I was expecting us to get destroyed. I’ve been surprised we’ve been doing so well so I’m thankful for that.”
Chapelgate will get another chance at Garrison Forest. They will meet in the first round of the conference playoffs on Oct. 25.
In the C Conference, Glenelg Country School, 9-3, in the league, got the top seed in the Gold Division. The Dragons will play the winner of the Oldfields vs. Key game in the opening round.
Glenelg can’t get past Archbishop
With 27 shots, Archbishop Spalding shut out Glenelg, 5-0, Oct. 22, in the last game of the regular season.
Lindsey Mazer had 21 saves for Glenelg.
Glenelg travels to Dundalk Oct. 26 for a first-round game in the Class 2A North Region playoffs.
In other Class 2A action, Oakland Mills plays Lansdowne Oct. 26 while Long Reach has a bye in the first round. The second-round games are tentatively set for Oct. 30. Check www.mpssaa.org for the playoff brackets.