Century's Brittany Barr said she and her teammates were a blank slate as they took the field against Glenelg on Wednesday night at Broadneck in the state Class 2A field hockey semifinal.
"We go in expecting nothing," said the goalie, who backstopped the No. 6 Knights' 11th shutout, a 2-0 win over the No. 11 Gladiators. "But we know we always have to come out pumped up at the start because we believe the first goal is always the one that will win the game. We believe."
The victory sends Century to the state finals for the second time in three years. The 2A championship game will be played Saturday at Washington College. There, the Knights (17-1) will face No. 9 Fallston (15-3), which beat Easton, 3-0, in Wednesday night's first 2A semifinal at Broadneck.
As the rain fell - sometimes in swirls, sometimes in sheets - Century leading scorer Jill Remenapp set up for a corner opportunity, and when she saw the opening at 23:32 of the first half, she drilled the ball through the Glenelg defense, which seemed frozen in place.
About 16 minutes later, Century's Alice Mercer drove the ball deep into Glenelg's territory and, seeing Amber Summers at the far post, sent a beautiful crossing pass that Summers redirected into the goal for the 2-0 lead.
No. 2 Centennial d. Stephen Decatur, 3-0: : Liz Brown, Michelle Klima and Trisha Mockapetris each had four kills to power the host Eagles (17-0) past the Seahawks (14-3) in Class 3A East, 25-6, 25-19, 25-14.
No. 3 River Hill d. Wilde Lake, 3-0: : Sarah Okey had 11 kills and two aces to lead the host Hawks (15-1) past the Wildecats, 25-6, 25-22, 25-10.
No. 4 Severna Park d. South River, 3-0: : Samantha Henke had seven kills, 10 digs and two aces as the host Falcons (15-2) beat the Seahawks in Class 4A East, 25-7, 25-17, 25-16.
No. 5 Broadneck d. Leonardtown, 3-1: : Kourtney Salvarola had 11 kills, 12 digs and an ace to power the host Bruins (14-1) past the Raiders in 4A East, 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23.
No. 6 Towson d. Catonsville, 3-0: : Lauren Bosse had 10 kills and four blocks to lead the host Generals (17-0) past the Comets in 3A North, 25-18, 25-12, 25-10.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.