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Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

Varsity Q&A: Century girls soccer’s Melody Leiva on becoming a champion in a game she loves

Century girls soccer won the Class 2A state championship in a total team effort. The Knights didn’t rely on a dominant superstar to carry the load, but rather brought a bunch of talented players together to form a special unit.

One of the key pieces is Melody Leiva. The senior forward finished the year among Century’s leading scorers and was an integral part of the offense, moving the ball around and putting pressure on opposing defenses.

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One day after winning a state championship with a 1-0 victory over Glenelg, Leiva was back on the field playing for her club team, but took some time to speak to the Carroll County Times.

(Editor’s note: Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.)

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Century's Melody Leiva, second from right, receives the Class 2A state championship trophy after the Knights beat Glenelg, 1-0, Friday at Loyola Maryland's Ridley Athletic Complex.

The day after winning the state championship, has it finally sunk in that you’re a state champion?

Yeah it has. Yesterday it didn’t even feel real; it felt like a dream, really. We all wanted it so bad all season and we all put so much hard work and effort in. We got the result we wanted.

Once the team took the lead, what were your emotions like during the final minutes trying to hold on?

My first reaction was relief. I was so glad we got one in. We were getting shots the whole first half and the second half we finished one and that put us in the mental state to finish the game.

Everyone was telling me the last couple days this was never a goal. You were focused on counties and regionals. When did you start thinking that a state title was possible?

I think once we won regionals, it felt like we could definitely keep going. We took it game by game and we just kept winning. It settled in after the one regional game.

Century's Melody Leiva and Glenelg's Kendall Anderson battle for the ball during Friday night's Class 2A state final at Loyola Maryland.

Less than 24 hours after winning you’re back on the soccer field. Do you love soccer that much?

Oh yes, I do love soccer.

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Were you tired at all playing back-to-back days? What was it like playing in that different atmosphere Saturday?

Coming back, I had my friends on my club team that I played against yesterday. It’s so nice when they tell me, ‘Oh, my little state champ.’ And playing, it’s a big difference, completely different than high school. Getting used to how they play is a little bit hard, but I’m coming back into it.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I’ve been playing soccer since kindergarten, so like 12 years.

What is it about soccer that kept you in it so long?

I was trying a lot of sports when I was younger and there was just a point where I don’t even want to play any other sport besides soccer. In middle school I had my own drive to pursue soccer.

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What is it about the game that draws that kind of passion out in people?

I think when you’re on the field it’s a whole different thing. Everything that’s outside, personal things, it all goes away. It’s an outlet, at least for me. It gets rid of all the stress from school or personal lives, it gets me in a good mindset.

Are you planning on playing in college?

Yes, I’m talking to Shepard University right now.

Century forward Melody Leiva reaches for the ball past Westminster defender Emily Erb during a game at Westminster on Oct. 17.

What are your future plans in college and beyond?

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I want to go to college and then find a job. I want to pursue physical therapy and athletic training, stick with sports.

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If you could travel anywhere, would where you want to go?

Hawaii. My club coach just went to Hawaii and was showing us pictures today. I was like, ‘Wow, I really want to go to Hawaii.’

If the Century girls soccer team went to a karaoke night, who would be the ones to start singing?

Jane Brewer would definitely be the first one on stage, and Maddy Whiteman, and they would sing the duet “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” [from the movie “Encanto”].

If Hollywood made a movie about your team, who would play coach Chris Little?

Maybe someone like Adam Sandler.


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