ELDERSBURG — Century has allowed just nine goals through three games this season, and much of that can be attributed to the team’s stout defense.
The Knights improved to 3-0 after routing Gerstell Academy 17-3 on Friday. Eleven different Knights scored goals in a balanced offensive effort across the board. Seniors Carter Truby and Brett Kropinski each scored two goals and added two assists apiece.
The Knights beat Franklin 4-2 in their season opener on March 22, and outscored Manchester Valley 8-2 in the second half to pull away with an 11-4 victory in their Carroll County Athletic League debut on Wednesday.
Junior defender Alex Kristian and teammate Charlie Hackett smiled as they praised their team’s defense and the collective effort it took to defeat Gerstell.
“Zim’s been making some great saves and playing really great in the cage,” said Kristian, referring to Century goalie Adam Zimmerman. “The defense has been playing as a unit and playing great together. We’ve been playing great on ball defense and it’s been great.”
Zimmerman, or “Zim” to his teammates, made two saves. He has replaced former goalie Chris Yanchoris, a three-time first-team all-countian who graduated last year.
“I think we got a lot of key returners and obviously with the loss of Chris, that’s huge, but Adam is stepping right in making huge saves,” Hackett said. “From a middie standpoint, we have a lot of grit and the way we’re pressing out, we’re trying to play hard. [We] don’t give them a lot of opportunities so obviously the return is really big and we’re just communicating and getting it done.”
Century scored the first six goals of the game in about a six-minute span. Two of those goals came from connections between Hackett and Matt Daniel. Alex Hillis won the face-off and carried the ball straight to goal with 5:19 left in the first quarter to give the Knights their sixth tally.
Drew Huber got Gerstell on the scoreboard with a low shot past Zimmerman with 3:55 left in the first, but senior midfielder Jalen Stanton found Truby for a seventh goal just before the quarter ended. Truby assisted on two goals in the second quarter and the Knights carried an 11-1 lead into the break.
The Knights outscored Gerstell 7-2 in the second half. Gerstell (1-3) got goals from Connor Zombro and Morgan Dowell and goalie Adin Laughlin made seven saves in the contest.
Century got past Gerstell 12-11 in an overtime thriller last season in Finksburg, thanks to a game-winner from Kropinski. Tensions ran high in that contest when things got physical in the third quarter, resulting in player ejections for both teams. Hackett said the Knights were still aware of last year’s contest, but have long moved on to continue playing the game with good, hard energy.
“That just kind of happens, I don’t think that’s ever OK, it’s kind of a spit on the sport,” Hackett said. “You’re out here to appreciate what you’re given but I understand it does happen. You have to let it stop at a certain point, you’re punching somebody with gloves on who has a helmet on so you’re not really doing anything just to get some energy out.
“With that, you just have to understand how to channel it, you get frustrated but just put that through a hard ground ball, do a pass-off, run it down the field to get a shot. It’s not worth the fighting and that kind of stuff.”
Goals: G-Drew Huber, Connor Zombro, Morgan Dowell; C-Colin McAuliffe, Matt Daniel 2, Carter Truby 2, Jalen Stanton, Brett Kropinski 2, Charlie Hackett, Brady Crumbacker 2, Jordan Schemm, Matt Pham, Kevin Hackett 2, Alex Hillis 2.
Assists: G-none; C-McAuliffe, Daniel, Truby 2, Stanton, Kropinski 2, Charlie Hackett 2, Kevin Hackett.