LUTHERVILLE — Becky Groves feels it important her Century girls lacrosse team plays a challenging schedule because it helps a team become the best it can be at the end of the season.
The Knights opened the 2019 campaign on a blustery Friday afternoon at Maryvale Prep, anxious to get underway. Maddie Bates, a junior nd one of the team’s 10 of 12 starters back from last year, took control of the draw, and the Knights had a pair of goalies making their varsity debut.
The Lions got the best of Century, however, and used a balanced attack to defeat the Knights 8-6.
“I thought our defense really played well and our freshman goalie Brooke Harper really stepped up,” Groves said. “I just felt like our attack seemed very rushed and very tense and they didn’t really possess the ball the way I would have liked. It’s a great start because Maryvale is a very good team so it pushed us to show us what we needed to work on that we didn’t get to in scrimmages.”
Junior attacker Tina Haspert scored three goals and sophomore midfielder Demma Hall had two and an assist for the Knights.
Maryvale (2-1-1) went up 2-0 early, thanks to two goals from senior midfielder Sophia Antonopolous. Haspert’s free position tally got the Knights on the board about 10 minutes in and Hall’s unassisted goal tied it up 2-2 with 16:47 left to play in the first half.
Knights sophomore Jillian Haudenshield started in goal, but Harper came in shortly after the Knights went down 2-0. Harper made five saves and Haudenshield made one.
The Lions scored a third time, but the Knights responded less than five minutes later when Hall connected with Haspert to make it 3-3 with 11:17 left in the half. Maryville notched two more goals in about two minutes, 23 seconds to hold a 5-3 advantage at the half.
Haspert made a cut in from the right side of the goal for her second tally about 10 minutes into the start of the second half and freshman midfielder Caroline Little tossed in a goal off a feed from Bates to tie the score once again.
Claire Bockstle, who scored twice for the Lions, found the back of the net from the free position twice to give the hosts a two-goal advantage. Century called a timeout with 5:40 left to play, and 13 seconds later Haspert cut the deficit to one.
The Lions commanded the draw, winning 12. The Knights won four, and Groves said the team usually has success from that aspect.
“The large problem for us too was we didn’t have possession, but our defense made some great stops … it went back down to the other end and we had to play ‘D’ again,” Groves said. “Eventually they’re going to score if you have to play ‘D’ the entire game.
“I thought that [defense] was going to be one of our weaker points but in the end it was not.”
Goals: C-Tina Haspert 3, Demma Hall 2, Caroline Little; M-Claire Neff, Paige Wilkinson 3, Claire Bockstle 2, Sophia Antonopoulos 2.
Assists: C-Maddie Bates, Hall; M-Adrianna Commodari, Haley Philips, Haley Wehberg, Claire Neff, Claire Bockstle.
Saves: C-6 (Jillian Haudenshield, Brooke Harper 5); M-4 (Lizzie Francioli).
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Halftime: Maryvale, 5-3.