Winters Mill pushed Century to the edge for the second time this season — this time, it was win or go home.
The teams picked up where they left off in the Class 2A West Section 1 final Tuesday. The game was delayed Monday night for two hours because of inclement weather with 1 minute, 56 seconds remaining in the first half. The game resumed at 8:30, but another lightning strike moments later caused the game to be postponed again.
Knights freshman midfielder Madison Plitt scored a goal, her second of the game, shortly after the game resumed. The Knights led 5-3 when the game picked back up Tuesday and they held off the Falcons for a 9-8 win.
The Knights (11-4) will travel to Middletown on Wednesday to face the Knights from Frederick County in the region final at 6 p.m.
“When the thunderstorm hit, we went inside and got so pumped,” Plitt said. “When we were going to come back out, we were just so ready to come out with a bang and ready to score.”
Christina Haspert, a sophomore, made it 6-3 to start things off for the Knights on Tuesday. Winters Mill senior Sarah Rhoads responded with her first of two goals just over a minute later to trim the deficit to 6-4.
Century never led by more than three goals and Winters Mill, paced by seniors Anna Diffendal and Rhoads, continued to nip at the Knights’ heels. Rhoads netted her second goal with 17:21 left to play and Falcons goalie Hailey Bennett made a point-blank save on a Grace Bruce free-position attempt.
Diffendal ran in for an unassisted goal, her third of the game, and scored a fourth with 35 seconds left to bring the Falcons within one, 9-8.
Bruce won the final draw for the Knights, however, to secure the game.
“I think we pulled together as a team, we didn’t necessarily play well today but we did what was necessary to win,” Knights coach Becky Groves said. “That’s what starts to make a great team is when you’re playing bad, you still find ways pull out a win.”
Winters Mill rode a six-game winning streak into the sectional final and hadn’t lost a game since falling to Century, 17-14, on April 24. The Falcons most recently defeated Oakdale in overtime, 12-11, thanks to Sophia Barnes’ free-position goal to win it, and the team outscored its last six opponents 100-47 before facing the Knights.
Bennett, a senior, made nine saves in goal for the Falcons (11-6).
Century goalie Claire Hollinger has only been playing lacrosse for a year and has relied on her teammates to help on her journey to getting comfortable in the net. Hollinger made five saves in the sectional final.
“I talk a lot with my defense,” Hollinger said. “I feel like helping them to know where the ball is and trusting them to take care of players on the field, I can make sure they stop hard shots for me so whatever comes at me is manageable.”
Goals: WM-Anna Diffendal 4, Sarah Rhoads 2, Kaitlyn Thompson, Megan Thomas; C-Madison Plitt 3, Christina Haspert 2, Demma Hall 2, Grace Bruce, Maddie Bates.
Assists: WM-Sophia Barnes; C-Maddie Bates 2, Haspert, Hall.
Saves: WM-9 (Hailey Bennett); C-5 (Claire Hollinger).
Halftime: Century, 5-3.