Century’s offense seems to be making up for lost time.
After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 spring season, the Knights came out firing and rolled to a 16-5 victory over visiting Liberty in its opener Tuesday.
The 2019 Carroll County Athletic League champs dominated behind stellar play from senior midfielders Demma Hall and Madison Plitt. The two combined for eight goals as Century built a big lead in the first half. Hall finished the game with seven goals and an assist, while Plitt netted all three of her goals in the first half.
“We came out rusty. Their senior leadership stepped and said ‘I am a little shaky right now but I’m stepping up and we are turning this around,’” Century coach Becky Groves said. “The first five minutes we weren’t playing our game, forcing the ball. They stepped up and took the leadership to send us on our way.”
After Liberty junior Val Thompson gave the Lions a brief 1-0 lead with an early goal, Century took over. A goal by Century sophomore Jasmine Stanton started a run of seven goals in eight minutes by the Knights.
Junior attacker Lauren Hackett followed Stanton’s tying goal with a goal less than a minute later. Hall followed with three goals in four minutes sandwiched around a goal by Plitt, pushing the Knights’ advantage to 5-1. Plitt then pushed the lead to 7-1 with a pair of goals in less than two minutes.
“I think we started off a little slow being our first time back, but I think overall we came together,” Hall said. “We really came together as a team, offense and defense, put everything together and killed it.”
Hall was not to be outdone as she scored twice more and assisted on another goal in the closing minutes of the half. The break did nothing to stop the Century onslaught. Hall opened the half with a goal, while junior Caroline Little added a goal to go along with her three assists in the first half.
“I have to give all the credit to my teammates, there was no way I would even be able to get to the goal without them clearing for me. I have to give the credit to them for giving me the opportunity,” Hall said.
Liberty (0-2) showed some fight late in the contest as Thompson scored more times in the final 10 minutes to pull the Lions a little closer. It was the second straight tough loss for the Lions, who fell 10-9 against Westminster Monday.
“I am proud of the girls, they didn’t give up and fought back,” Liberty coach Tom Brandel said. “We have a couple of injuries right now and we are a very young team. We only had two returning varsity players tonight. Playing games back-to-back in the COVID season, it’s definitely challenging.”
For Century, it was a victory that was a long time coming after two years without being able to play.
“It felt great,” Groves said. “I was definitely nervous coming into the game since it’s been two years since we have played. Especially since it’s Liberty. They’re our rival, always a good team. Always seems to be close. So, for us we need to go out there and play well. It’s always a tight match with us and them.”
Goals: C-Demma Hall 7, Lauren Hackett 3, Madison Plitt 3, Jasmine Stanton, Caroline Little, Anna Hackett. L-Val Thompson 4, Jenna Evans.
Assists: C-Little 3, Hall. L-Evans.
Saves: C-Jenelle Balchune 2; L-Emma Spaulding 2.
Halftime: Century, 11-1.