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No. 10 Century girls soccer shuts out Dulaney to close regular season

A game after struggling to find the net in a loss to McDonough, the Knights came out aggressive and scored three times in the first half on the way to a 3-0 victory over visiting Dulaney Thursday night.

The Knights relied on their dynamic duo to take command of the game early. Senior Haley Greenwade and sophomore Harli Hamlett teamed up for two goals and Hamlett assisted on another score as Century raced out to the commanding lead.

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“It’s a special pair,” Century head coach Chris Little said. “Harli is that special player that knows just about where Haley is going to go. Even with our center-mids, they find Harli, they find Haley. It’s not defined by just those two, but it really has been nice to see them.”

The Knights were relentless on offense early, keeping the ball in the offensive zone and creating plenty of scoring chances.

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Greenwade made one of those chances pay off when she used some fancy footwork to elude a defender and skipped a pass across the box to Hamlett. Hamlett corralled the pass and beat the diving goalkeeper to give Century a 1-0 lead with 28 minutes to go in the half.

“We work at practice all the time, with us staying connected and working off each other,” Greenwade said. “Since we both have speed and athleticism, and soccer IQ, it helps get us up the field and since we are both unselfish, we [are able to] help each other score.”

Hamlett was in the middle of the action on the Knights’ next goal as well.

After a turnover by the Lions at the midfield stripe, Hamlett received a pass out of the defensive zone and charged by Dulaney defenders up the sideline. The sophomore stopped just outside the box and zipped a pass to cutting teammate Sophia Taylor. The perfectly-placed pass hit Taylor right on her foot and the midfielder slid the ball by the goalie for a 2-0 lead.

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“We have been working really hard on our offensive third play,” Little said. “We want to get the ball outside [and then] in. Be able to finish. Really proud of the way the girls did that. They worked as a great team unit. We have 12 different goal scorers this year. We’re really excited about that.”

The Greenwade-to-Hamlett connection proved potent again with 15 minutes to go in the opening half. Greenwade used her speed to race by a defender prior to stopping along the sideline near the backline. The senior lofted a pass into the box that Hamlett controlled and finished to give the Knights a 3-0 lead.

“I think we just work really well together,” Hamlett said of her connection with Greenwade. “It’s been building up to this. Last year, [playing together] was a foundation for this. We are only getting better.”

Senior defender Lauren Hackett led a strong defensive effort for the Knights in the second half. The Knights swarmed Dulaney players entering the zone, created turnovers, and turned them into offensive chances for the Knights.

“It’s a team effort back there,” Hackett said. “We just get each other really well. We talk and communicate. All of us work together as a team.”

Century goalkeeper Mia Graff stopped all four shots that she faced and nearly notched an assist of her own. The junior came out to play a ball and punted the ball deep to the Dulaney end. The kick caught Greenwade in stride, who maneuvered her way through the defense for a 1-on-1 chance against the goalkeeper. The senior pushed her shot just wide as the advantage stayed at three for the Knights.

For Dulaney, the game was a good experience against a quality opponent that helps prepare the team for their next game against a county rival.

“[Century’s] offense is very similar to Perry Hall, who we are going to be playing in counties,” senior Briana Alvarez said. “It was a good way to practice our defensive line against a team that attacks the way they do. It was really good practice.”

Dulaney head coach Maurice Boylan was disappointed in the fact that his team fell behind by so much early, but liked that his team responded in the second half and continued to fight.

“First half, really not how we play,” he said. “But they regrouped. They listened to all the coaching points at halftime and they [regrouped].”

Century 3, Dulaney 0

Goals: C - Harli Hamlett 2, Sophia Taylor.

Assists: C - Haley Greenwade 2, Harli Hamlett

Saves: D - Emmy Heron 5, C - Mia Graff 4.

Halftime: 3-0 C.

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