For the first time in six years, Century’s girls lacrosse team is the outright Carroll County champion.
The Knights used a dominant offensive attack to defeat Winters Mill 21-8 at Winters Mill on Tuesday — good for the team’s 10th straight victory. Century dropped its season opener at Maryvale Prep on March 22, and has not lost since.
They remain unbeaten in Carroll County Athletic League play entering Thursday’s county finale against Liberty.
“Winters Mill is a really good team and I think that we’ve been getting better all season,” Knights junior attacker Maddie Bates said. “Tonight, we found some things we still need to work on.”
Bates led the way with six goals and sophomore midfielder Demma Hall contributed a game-high six assists. She also added four goals for the Knights (10-1, 5-0 CCAL), who last won the outright county crown in 2013.
The Knights built a 5-1 lead through the first nine minutes of play, thanks to two goals from Bates, two from junior attacker Christina Haspert and a tally from Hall. Falcons sophomore midfielder Katelyn Heffner found the back of the net less than five minutes in to even the score.
Becca Thompson sparked a quick three-goal scoring spurt for Winters Mill that brought them within one of Century, 5-4. The Knights called a timeout shortly after Thompson scored a free-position goal, her second of the night, with hopes to strengthen their intensity.
“In that situation, we’re all confident in each other,” Bates said. “We know that if we just pick it up and play well together we can come back and play like we know now.”
The Knights fired off three straight goals before a connection between WM attacker Sophia Barnes and Heffner trimmed the deficit to 8-5. Hall fired a shot past Falcons goalie Reilly Lockwood off a feed from Haspert to spark another scoring run for the Knights. Hall played a role in at least eight Century goals and notched her fifth assist of the night on another connection with Haspert to put the Knights up 14-5 in the second half.
The Falcons were outscored 9-3 in the second half, and Madison Harmening scored twice. Barnes, a sophomore, assisted on one of Harmening’s goals and added one of her own from the free position as time expired.
Winters Mill controlled the draw for most of the game, winning 18 compared to Century’s 11. However, Century forced three turnovers and collected 19 ground balls in transition.
“The attack has done a very good job of getting the ball back and not getting down on themselves,” Knights senior defender Ally Everton said. “Just listening to what we’re supposed to do, drive them to the sidelines, stop them and don’t swing, just use your body to try and get the ball back.”
The Knights captured four straight county championship victories from 2003-2006 before splitting with Liberty and Westminster in 2007 and 2009. They split the title with Manchester Valley and Westminster in 2017 en route to capturing regional and state championships that spring as well.
Knights coach Becky Groves said the team has faith in one another, and it’s been a contributing factor to their success.
“In other years, we’ve had people run the ball because we didn’t have a true team that could carry the ball with them,” Groves said. “There’s no one on the field where I think they can’t have the ball. In years past, we’ve maybe tried to hide someone in transition, whereas this year, we don’t have to.”