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Boys Lacrosse: Keepers keeps Century offensive against North Carroll

After halftime, Century senior midfielder Zach Keepers jogged to midfield and got in position.

It was time for Keepers, Century's face-off specialist, to fulfill his role, one he excels at no matter the opponent.

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In Century's 11-8 win over North Carroll, Keepers won 17-of-23 face-offs. Keepers ensured the Knights would get more than enough time on attack.

It can be a thankless job, particularly on a wet, muddy field. Yet the persistent Keepers battled for every ground ball. He credited his coaches and midfield teammates for great communication necessary.

While Keepers is particularly adept at scooping his own face-offs, the ground balls need to be gathered by teammates as well.

Keepers embraces his important role.

"Whatever is best for the team," said Keepers, who had three assists off face-off wins that led to transition goals.

The Knights (8-4, 4-3 county) have a huge roster with 34 players listed. During Senior Night, coach Jeremy Benson found time for everyone. Junior attack Luke Seledee had a season-high three goals in the first quarter alone.

But with players shuttling in and out, Keepers was a mainstay on face-offs.

For good reason: Against undefeated county power Liberty, Keepers won 13-of-15 face-offs.

It was more of the same against North Carroll (3-10, 1-6). He flipped two third-quarter face-offs into his own stick, which led to quick goals.

"I'm always looking for opportunities in transition," Keepers said.

Century surged to a 10-3 lead after three quarters. But fourth quarter turnovers gave North Carroll opportunities. Panthers senior Connor Waskiewicz scored with 5 minutes remaining to cut Century's lead to just three.

But Century sophomore goalie Chris Yanchoris held strong late. He had 14 saves. In the game's final moments, he deflected away a Waskiewicz shot. He made sure the Knights did not lose another close game late. Century had lost its previous two games by just one goal each.

After the game, Waskiewicz approached Yanchoris.

"Nice game, goalie," Waskiewicz said.

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Led by Yanchoris and defenders Lane Cavey and Patrick Hunter, the Knights held North Carroll to just three first-half goals.

"We did pressure their [attackers] and see what they could do," Yanchoris said.

It mostly worked out.

North Carroll sophomore Brandon Smith had a season-high four goals. Zach Evans had eight saves for the Panthers. Waskiewicz had two goals and an assist.

Century senior Chris Rinehart had two goals and two assists for the Knights.

Many of those opportunities made possible when Keepers ensured the Knights would get possession. After the game, Keepers was more excited to talk about the goals scored by his teammates.

"You can hear it from the sideline," Keepers said. "We're brothers out here. We root for each other."

Goals: NC- Brandon Smith 4, Connor Waskiewicz 2, Riley Larrimore 2; C-Luke Seledee 3, Chris Rinehart 2, Max Trumper 2, Jalen Stanton, Jacob Leitner, Alec Bosley, Austin Johnson.

Assists: NC-Andy Long 2, Waskiewicz; C-Keepers 3, Rinehart 2, Cavey, Stanton, Brett Kropinski.

Saves: NC 8 (Zach Evans); C 14 (Chris Yanchoris)

Halftime: Century, 5-2.

JV Result: Century, 11-10.

sports@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7896

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