All Haley Greenwade wants is the ball, and she just wants to score.
The Century High School sophomore started playing soccer when she was 3 years old, and she played in recreational leagues until she was about 9. Her parents noticed how much she was progressing over the other players and they moved her into the Freedom Soccer Club’s travel team.
She made the switch to Baltimore Celtic Soccer Club in seventh grade, and tried out for Century’s varsity team as a freshman last fall.
Greenwade played forward with her club program, but started at the center midfield position with the Knights. She was moved up to forward at the start of the 2019 season, and flourished.
“It was pretty much right off the bat,” Knights coach Sara Figuly said. “The first time I saw her play, I knew she was an extremely good player.”
Greenwade led Carroll County with 50 points (23 goals, four assists) this season, and helped lead the Knights to a 16-1 record, a Carroll County Athletic League title, and an appearance in the Class 2A state semifinals en route to being named Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
She had a hand in just about every game Century played this season, including two goals in the Knights’ playoff win over Oakland Mills on Oct. 26. Her personal favorite memory came in the first game of the year — Greenwade notched an assist on Summer Morrison’s overtime game-winner against Atholton on Sept. 6.
Century’s offense outscored its opponents 43-10 this season, and the Knights’ defense recorded 11 shutouts.
“I loved my teammates so much, I miss them already,” Greenwade said. “I enjoyed the camaraderie we had and I enjoyed winning, obviously. I liked goofing around with them and sometimes we did it at practice, which we weren’t supposed to do, but we got our stuff together.”
The Knights defeated Liberty 1-0 to capture their fifth outright county title in eight seasons on Oct. 18, and defeated the Lions a second time to advance in the 2A West playoffs. The Knights defeated Eastern Tech in a state quarterfinal game to set up a rematch with Calvert from the 2016 state semifinals.
The Cavaliers got the best of the Knights to hand them their only loss of the season, but Greenwade said playing in the state semifinals was a rewarding experience.
“It was challenging, but fun at the same time,” Greenwade said. “It really put us on the line for what we had to do to come out and show what we were capable of. We were all really nervous, but we just had to come out strong because we knew it was playoffs.”
Greenwade waited her turn behind the Knights’ seniors before her who commanded the team’s offense up top, but she said she didn’t mind feeding the ball to her teammates to help them get the ball to the back of the net.
“She did a good job there, but it was hard for her to move the ball around because the space is more compact,” Figuly said. “When we were looking for forwards this year, we knew instantly we wanted to move her up to have more space to use her speed and foot skills.
“We were pleased with how she was playing up there.”
Greenwade and her Century teammates have not lost sight of their end goal for next season, and that’s to win a state championship.
“I think we’re going to be pretty good the next few years,” Greenwade said. “Our coaches are awesome and I know they’re going to work us to our potential and I really think they’re going to get us there. We just have to have the right attitude like we had this year, and I hope we do because I loved our attitude this year.”