Century’s boys soccer team would have likely needed a superior performance to defeat Manchester Valley Monday night.
And the way the Mavericks are playing right now, that may not even have been enough.
Manchester Valley stayed undefeated with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Knights.
The Mavericks improved to 8-0 (2-0 in the county) behind goals from Grant Scibek, Riley Larrimore, Vilius Matalavage, and Dayne Koontz. Three of Manchester Valley’s goals came in the first half.
“That lead is tough to overcome,” said Century coach Scott Booker, whose team dropped to 3-2-2, 1-1. “Credit to them. They outworked us.”
Manchester Valley’s leading scorer, junior forward Connor Allen, had two assists. He now has six goals and six assists on the season.
Despite all of Manchester Valley’s offense, Century made things interesting in the second half by trimming the lead.
Century made it 3-1 with 18:30 remaining as junior midfielder Dylan Hairfield from about 12 yards out on a pass from Kyle Kropfelder, who was playing in his first varsity game.
The Knights got to within 3-2 about nine minutes later when Evan Montgomery redirected Luke Tolley’s corner kick into the goal. But Manchester Valley responded with a goal with 7:30 left as Koontz redirected Matalavage’s shot on a direct kick into the net.
“Obviously, we have a target on our back being undefeated,” Man Valley goalkeeper Griffin Potter said. “We hit them hard and we have kept our confidence up. I think there is a line between confidence and cockiness and we haven’t crossed that line yet. We are just keeping it going.”
The Mavericks tested Century senior goalie Bradley Shipley (12 saves) early in the first half.
Shipley snatched the ball away from a MV player in front of the goal on Christian Keller’s indirect kick three minutes into play. It didn’t take the Mavericks that long to score, however.
Allen’s crossing pass from the right corner of the 18-yard box was chipped past a charging Shipley and into the net with 33:12 remaining.
About 10 minutes later, Scibek, with three defenders around him, put the Mavericks ahead 2-0 with a shot from about 20 yards out to the right corner. Allen was credited with the assist.
Manchester Valley pushed it lead to 3-0 with 10:52 to go.
Mason Castanzo slotted a ball to Larrimore on the left side and the senior forward chipped it to the left corner.
Century didn’t have any problems generating shots in the first half, totaling 10. But the Knights only had three on goal and one of their best chances to score came in the final two minutes when Potter (nine saves) stopped Alex Grasso’s header.
“We did play very, very well,” Manchester Valley coach Andrew Harrell said of the first half. “I don’t know if it’s the best half we have played, but we finished our opportunities.”
Goals: MV-Grant Scibek, Vilius Matalavage, Riley Larrimore, Dayne Koontz; C-Dylan Hairfield, Evan Montgomery.
Assists: MV Connor Allen 2. Mason Castanzo; C-Luke Tolley, Kyle Kropfelder.
Saves: MV-11 (Griffin Potter 9, Sean Werner 2); C-12 (Bradley Shipley).
Halftime: MV, 3-0.