ELDERSBURG — Manchester Valley coach Andrew Harrell said he’s seen Chase Estes progressively improve over the past two seasons.
The senior midfielder is one of the hardest working players in practice according to his coach, and in return Estes has been rewarded with results on the field.
Estes received a pass outside of the box with 24:05 remaining in the first half and marked his spot. His shot curled just inches over the reach of Century goalkeeper Brian Wallace and into the left corner of the net.
It was the first of two goals for Estes — he scored one in each half — as he paced the Mavericks’ offensive attack in a 4-0 shutout win Saturday over Century.
“I tried to place it there,” Estes said about his first goal. “ Luckily, it went where I wanted it to go that time.”
Shots like Estes’ were hard to come by in this one, a matchup of two regional champions from 2017.
The remnants of Friday’s football game left a pool of mud between the 30-yard lines. Normal turns and cuts resulted in slips and players on both teams struggled to find their footing throughout the entire game.
Harrell remained impressed with his team’s ability across the board despite poor field conditions
“We played very well defensively, not giving up any goals … We’re doing some right back there,” he said. “Offensively, we played well. We had a lot of guys step up and play well.”
With 1:35 remaining before intermission, Connor Allen doubled Man Valley’s lead. The reigning Times Player of the Year, and county’s leading scorer, did what he does best and buried the low-driven shot into the back of the net.
The Mavs took a 2-0 lead into halftime and doubled that total in the ensuing 40 minutes.
Allen put another shot on goal with just under 15 minutes to play. It deflected off Wallace and on to the foot of Abram Castanzo.
The sophomore midfielder extended the Mavericks’ lead, and no less than four minutes later Estes put the finishing touches on the victory with his second goal.
Century (5-2, 2-1 county) threatened in front of MV’s goal with increased pressure in the second half, but the Knights weren’t able to capitalize.
“I thought they just were the better team than us tonight,” said Century coach Scott Booker. “They executed, their shots were on goal … and we didn’t execute the opportunities that we had.”
Wallace totaled eight saves for the Knights. He was replaced by junior keeper Ethan Ricketts late in the second half.
Century still remains in Carroll County Athletic League contention and a jam-packed second half of the season gives them the chance to bounce back.
“There’s plenty of time and opportunities to recover and that starts on the practice field for us Monday,” Booker said.
Wins over Liberty, last year’s county champion, and now Century gives Man Valley an impressive resume to boast. But before breaking the post-game huddle, Harrell made sure to remind his players to avoid complacency.
It’s something he continues to push, knowing there’s still plenty of soccer left to play in a competitive pool of county teams.
“We come into every county matchup with the intention of winning,” Harrell said. “Goals on the board are just numbers. What we really want to do is continue to play well throughout the season — get better and better each game.”
The Mavericks improve to 6-2 (2-0) and Estes said he knows what this win means for him and his team going forward.
“[Century] was a great team and we made a statement to the rest of the county that we’re coming,” he said.
Goals: MV-Chase Estes 2, Connor Allen, Abram Castanzo.
Assists: MV-Brayden Safley, Allen, Adam Bowersox.
Saves: MV-5 (Daniel Sanders); C-8 (Brian Wallace).
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Halftime: Man Valley, 2-0.