Coaches often look for something their team can improve after each game, but Century's Rose Pentz couldn't find much to be upset about after her No. 10 Knights rolled to an 18-5 victory over visiting South Carroll yesterday.
"We played a great game all around, every aspect of it," Pentz said. "It was the best all-around game - defense, offense, transition, goalie. It was the whole [team's] effort."
The Knights truly dominated. They played tough defense, made slick passes and moves on offense, beat the Cavaliers to many ground balls and controlled the entire contest.
"They beat us in every phase, and they were better than us in every phase," South Carroll coach Mac Kantruss said.
Century (8-1, 4-0 county) scored the game's first six goals and five of the final six. The Knights jumped to an 8-2 halftime lead and pulled away in the second half, finding and then converting on numerous chances.
They got solid individual efforts from Lauren Schwarzmann (five goals, two assists), Kelly Kasper (four goals, one assist), Rachel Hawes (four goals) and Megan McGuire (three goals). South Carroll slowed that group at times, but couldn't find a way to stop them consistently.
The Knights had a 2-0 lead before South Carroll (6-3, 1-1) even got the ball into the offensive zone. Century also got a boost from goalie Ashley Benitez, who made three of her 11 saves in the first several minutes, keeping the Cavaliers at bay.
"We came out fired up," Schwarzmann said. "We were very well [prepared] today. We were definitely focused and ready to go."
South Carroll tried hard to slow the speedy Century offense - specifically Schwarzmann and Kasper - in a variety of ways. The Cavaliers would often hold the ball for long stretches.
At one point midway through the first half, South Carroll goalie Carrie Condon (nine saves) held the ball for over a minute while trying to decide where to pass. Condon kept the ball away from the powerful Century offense for a little while.
But the Knights used their well-known quickness to set up good scoring chances. They often spread the offense and let someone make a sharp break toward the goal for a high-percentage shot that Condon could do little about.
Speed and quickness also helped the Century defense disrupt the South Carroll offense. The Knights played consistent defense that limited the Cavaliers to only a handful of good scoring chances - which Benitez often stopped.
Britt Woodfield scored a team-high three goals for South Carroll.
No. 9 Mount Hebron 15: Hammond 10: Kevin Cooke of Mount Hebron found a new superstition yesterday.
The junior right-hander got his first chance to pitch this season, but he had one slight problem - he forgot his belt.
He battled past it, however, repeatedly tucking in his shirttail while pitching 3 2/3 innings in relief and allowing one run and three hits against host Hammond.
Cooke picked up the victory, as the No. 9 Vikings rallied from a six-run deficit to win, 15-10.
"I don't think I'm ever wearing a belt again," said the superstitious three-sport athlete, who relied mainly on fastballs with an occasional changeup and curveball mixed in.
Cooke was upset before the game because the team's "lucky" bus driver didn't drive them to yesterday's game.
"We had the same guy drive us to our first seven games and we won all seven," Cooke said. "Then he didn't drive us to our eighth game and we lost."
Mount Hebron's hitting probably had more to do with the victory than superstitions.
The Vikings (9-1, 6-1 Howard County) pounded 12 hits, including a three-run home run and an RBI single by Andrew Hoffner, against Hammond (4-4, 3-3).
Sun staff writer Rick Belz contributed to this article.