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Century, Liberty field hockey all even before weather delays force suspended game

Century and Liberty played 43 minutes of field hockey Friday afternoon at Western Regional Park before weather delays resulted in a suspended game. As a result, this season’s Carroll County Athletic League champion is yet to be determined.

The Lions came into the matchup unbeaten at 7-0, and winners of their last 34 games. They’ve won the last two county championships.

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The Knights are 7-1 and riding a five-game win streak, with their lone loss coming against Liberty early in the season (3-1 on March 12). Century is going after its first county crown since 2014.

Friday’s game was tied at 1-all with seven minutes remaining in regulation when the lightning sirens sounded atop the bleachers at Western Regional. Play was halted and set to resume just after 5 p.m., but thunder was heard and the delay extended to 5:30.

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Carroll’s allotted time to utilize the artificial playing surfaces at the Howard County park ends at 6, with more inclement weather looming, so the decision was made to resume the game at a later date. Michael Duffy, Carroll’s supervisor of athletics, said the plan is to continue the game either April 13 or April 14 back at Western Regional.

Century goalie Jill Haudenshield protects the goal during the Knights' game against Liberty in Woodbine Friday, April 9, 2021.
Century goalie Jill Haudenshield protects the goal during the Knights' game against Liberty in Woodbine Friday, April 9, 2021. (Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times)

Junior midfielder Caitlynn Szarko pulled Liberty even with a goal in the third quarter, a frame during which the Lions took control after Century had the momentum in the first half. The Knights implemented an aggressive tempo on offense from the start, and garnered some early scoring chances.

One of those early chances paid off when Demma Hall, who missed Century’s first game against Liberty because of an injury, waited for a midfield pass to find her behind the defense along the near sideline. Hall gathered the ball, squared up and sent a pass from the right side toward the goal, where fellow senior forward Sadie Simon was waiting to knock in her fourth goal of the year.

The Knights had Liberty reeling during much of the first half, but the Lions regrouped and turned up their offensive intensity. It paid off when Szarko, a West Chester University commit, collected her 10th goal of the season, tying her with Century’s Mackenzie Feltz for the most in the county.

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Both goalies were keeping their respective teams in the game. Liberty’s Emma Meissner had five saves before play was suspended, and Century’s Jill Haudenshield tallied seven saves.

Liberty's Kayleigh Ward plays the ball toward the goal while covered by Century's Demma Hall during the second half of their game in Woodbine Friday, April 9, 2021.
Liberty's Kayleigh Ward plays the ball toward the goal while covered by Century's Demma Hall during the second half of their game in Woodbine Friday, April 9, 2021. (Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times)

Liberty had seven penalty corner tries to Century’s three, and the Lions were trying to seize control before the weather delay went into effect.

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