By the time Century got possession for the first time Saturday at C. Milton Wright, the Knights already were in big trouble.
After winning the game's first four draws and scoring four quick goals,
the No. 10 Mustangs remained in command in an 11-7 victory over the No. 6 Knights.
C. Milton Wright (1-0) suffered a 10-8 loss to Class 3A-2A defending state champion Century (1-1) in last year's state semifinals, and the defeat is still fresh for the Mustangs.
But C. Milton Wright coach Brent Ritz said this is a new season and, even though they remember last year's playoff loss, he wanted his team to start on its new turf field with a strong performance.
"It was about this year," Ritz said. "We wanted to establish ourselves. Each team has got to set their own tone."
The Mustangs did that quickly on a cold and windy afternoon. They won those first four draws and scored four goals in a 1:29 span to take control just over two minutes into the game.
Katie Burgee led C. Milton Wright with three goals and one assist and got one of each during the early run. She scored on a free-position shot 39 seconds into the game and made a great pass that set up Haley Alexander (two goals, one assist) on the third goal.
After Burgee's first goal, Lauren Haggerty (two goals) scored 28 seconds later off a pass from Brooke Williams (one goal, one assist). Burgee followed with another score 43 seconds after that before Haggerty scored again just 18 seconds later.
"We wanted to come out strong," Burgee said. "It's a new season, but we do obviously remember last year. We just knew we couldn't get down."
The Mustangs didn't want to get into a run-and-gun competition with the usually speedy Knights, and they often controlled the pace throughout the game. Century ran at times, but the Knights couldn't keep pressure on C. Milton Wright's defense.
The Knights cut the lead to two goals twice, the last time coming on a goal from Marissa Donoghue (three goals) with 14:55 remaining. That shaved the Mustangs' lead to 6-4, but C. Milton Wright quickly answered.
Burgee scooped up a loose ball near midfield and made a long run, cut to the goal and scored. Williams and Maggie Gallagher (two goals) scored after that in a three-goal run to put C. Milton Wright in charge once more.
Century has won a state championship in six of the past nine years, but the Knights lost some key players from last year's team. Still, Century coach Becky Groves said her team will be able to learn a few things from this loss.
"This is why we play games like this, to learn from them," Groves said. "I knew they were ready for us. They played great."
C. Milton Wright 11, Century 7
Goals: CE-Donoghue 3, Warther 2, Hall, Bordner; CM-Burgee 3, Alexander 2, Haggerty 2, Gallagher 2, Smucker, Williams. Assists: CE-McGovern; CM-Moynihan 2, Alexander, Burgee, Williams. Saves: CE-Al. Remenapp 2; CE-McKee 3. Half: CM, 5-2.