C. Milton Wright’s Blaine Dail showed up when his team needed him most with four goals, leading the Mustangs to a 9-6 victory over the Century Knights.
“When we execute offensively, we’re scoring a lot of goals,” CMW head coach Andrew Gerard said. “When we share the ball, when we run good possession offense, we’re putting a lot of goals in. … I was really pleased with our physical play, that was a more physical team than we’re used to playing. The guys stepped up and I thought matched up pretty well physically there.”
Dail’s fourth goal came in a clutch moment. With his team up a goal, Dail gave the Mustangs some breathing room with 4:57 remaining. It ended a scoreless drought that lasted more than 10 minutes of game time in the second half. He scored his first two goals in the first quarter and added another in the third quarter that tied the game at 6.
The Mustangs (7-5) took a 3-1 lead in the first quarter with Dail scoring two and Ben Fitzpatrick scoring one of his two goals in the game. The Knights (8-4) responded in the second quarter with a 3-0 run that tied the game at 4. Connor Zombro, John Pavlick and Trent Hillis each scored one goal for Century.
“We stayed patient, the first possession we had we had four or five shots. We got the opportunities we wanted,” Century head coach Jeremy Benson said. “We had to stop the bleeding defensively from what their offense was doing. … Once our offense got opportunities, we were able to take advantage.”
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CMW held on to win despite committing 21 turnovers, including 10 in the first half. They added another eight in the third quarter but only gave up three in the fourth.
“A lot of our errors were mental in terms of turnovers. We said we’re gonna cut our turnovers in half.” Gerard said. “I said our challenge was to cut it from eight to four, if we can get to four turnovers, we have a good chance at winning this game.”
Kevin Morris found the net late in the first half for the Mustangs, giving his team a 5-4 lead heading into halftime. The Knights opened the third quarter with two straight goals from Brent Wehland and Zombro. They each scored twice in the game.
CMW responded with their own 2-0 run as Dail scored his third of the game and Morris scored his second. The fourth quarter was more of a defensive showcase as the two teams went scoreless through the first eight minutes until Dail scored his fourth and a few minutes later Mattox sealed the game with a goal.
“It was big, we couldn’t get that separation.” Gerard said. “I think it gave us that cushion a little bit, we were playing some zone defense. We can get two goals and sit on the ball a little bit, and that’s what that Dail goal gave us.”
Tyler Mann started in goal for the Mustangs and made 11 saves. With the win, CMW ends the regular season on a four-game winning streak while Century has lost two of its last three.
“This team played pretty fast, we’re used to Carroll County teams that are a little bigger, little more physical and they were able to take care of the rock.” Benson said. “We gotta play a little bit faster. We kinda went with our top dogs a little more. We got to catch up, get a little bit more up to speed once we get to the playoffs.”