Grace Bruce and Christina Haspert chat with us post-game.
Century came into Tuesday's game against county foe Winters Mill looking to break out of its county slump for after suffering losses to Westminster and South Carroll within the last week.
The Knights regrouped and found the intensity they needed to defeat the Falcons 17-14 after a second-half scoring battle. Underclassmen led the way for the Knights once again — sophomore midfielder Grace Bruce scored seven goals and Christina Haspert, also a sophomore, notched six goals and three assists.
"I thought our motion on offense was a lot better today and we had a talk after those two really hard losses," Knights coach Becky Groves said. "You can either turn towards each other or turn against each other and today showed we're turning towards each other. We're not giving up and we're rebuilding and really looking to have that fresh start."
The Knights (6-3, 3-2 in the county) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead within the first five minutes of play, but Winters Mill junior midfielder Kaitlyn Thompson's free-position tally cut that run. Bruce and freshman Demma Hall each scored off feeds from Haspert to pick up a 7-2 lead with 12:10 remaining in the first half.
Haspert was issued a yellow card and Thompson found the back of the net again on the man-up advantage. Freshman attacker Katelyn Heffner netted a free-position goal to bring the Falcons within two, 8-6, at the half.
Each team scored eight goals in the second half — seven of which came in the opening eight minutes. Knights freshman Madison Plitt carried the ball with a spin move around two defenders and found the back of the net to put the Knights up by two. Two straight goals from Anna Diffendal helped the Falcons tie the game, 10-10.
The teams traded goals, but the Knights gradually pulled ahead late in the half to overcome the Falcons (5-5, 1-4). WM midfielder Sarah Rhoads scored to bring the team within two before Bruce tossed in her seventh goal with 10 seconds left.
"If someone's having a bad game, other people step up to fill their position for that day because we can't trust that someone's going to have a good game every time," Bruce said. "Everyone just has to be prepared."
Bruce added she thought the Knights looked better Tuesday than they had all season.
"I think it's just the fire," Haspert said. "Winning is fun and I think that's the fire we had today, to come out and finish strong against a good team."
Madison Harmening, a freshman midfielder, led the Falcons with three goals and senior Hailey Bennett made eight saves in goal. Falcons coach Amalie Meszaros said her girls are continuing to try to get a little better each day to work toward the playoffs.
"We're definitely learning to dig it out and pushing through being tired," Meszaros said. "We're working really hard off the field and unfortunately we've just had so many close games like this one, especially in the county."
Goals: WM-Madison Harmening 3, Anna Diffendal 2, Katelyn Heffner 2, Megan Thomas 2, Kaitlyn Thompson 2, Sophia Barnes, Kelsi Beard, Sarah Rhoads; C-Grace Bruce 7, Christina Haspert 6, Madison Plitt 2, Maddie Bates 2, Demma Hall.