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High School sports

No. 3 Century girls lacrosse closes out 19-0 season with 16-6 win over No. 8 Hereford for Class 2A state crown

The Century girls lacrosse team had a final bit of business to tend to Wednesday with every intention of letting one thing be known: This season belonged to the No. 3 Knights.

Fittingly, their start-to-finish excellence was capped by another collective effort against No. 8 Hereford in the Class 2A state championship game.

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Seniors Lauren Hackett (four goals, three assists) and Caroline Little (three goals, three assists) led the potent attack and strong team defense kept the Bulls in check as the Knights completed a 19-0 season with a resounding 16-6 win at Loyola Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

After avenging last year’s state title game loss to Middletown with a big win in Saturday’s semifinal, Century wasted no time staking claim to the program’s ninth state crown. It’s the second perfect 19-0 season in program history with the first coming in in 2006 under former coach Rose Pentz.

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Junior Jasmine Stanton (three goals) scored 14 seconds into the game and the Knights tallied the first five goals to take control. They were never threatened by the Bulls, who finished with a 15-2 mark.

Sitting alongside Hackett after the game, Little talked about what it meant to win on the season’s last day as a senior.

“It is [special]. Especially as two seniors sitting here — I can speak for Lauren — this is what we dreamed of since freshman year. We wanted it so bad and we finally got it, and that loss at Middletown just fueled our fire. And we came out this year so strong, it’s something I never seen before.”

With junior midfielder Jane Brewer (two goals) winning her share of draws early, the Knights made the most of their possession in taking hold of the game.

After Stanton’s opening goal, Little and Brewer scored with Hackett registering both assists. Brewer and Stanton followed with goals to build a 5-0 advantage that extended to 8-2 at the break.

Hereford, which was able to rally from an 11-2 halftime deficit against Towson to pull out a 13-12 win for the Baltimore County championship, played hard throughout and had another comeback in mind.

Maya Antonakas scored 15 seconds into the second half for the Bulls to think just maybe. But the Knights were simply too strong, answering with goals from Anna Hackett and Lauren Hackett to pull away.

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“I’m so proud of all the girls. I think we truly played as a a team this year,” Century coach Becky Groves said. “I think prior, when I was younger, I really focused on my key kids, and as I’ve gotten older and become a better coach, I realize it takes a team. This year, it really showed that we are a true team, from goalie to the last attacker to our bench.”

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The Bulls got three goals and one assist from midfielder Jordan Peterson with Antonakas, a sophomore, scoring twice.

“Century is a great team,” Peterson said. “They have a strong offense that was able to capitalize and their defense was also great. It didn’t help in the first half we were having trouble scoring and it was kind of hard to pick up the momentum in the second half.”

Hereford, a winner of three state titles with six championship game appearances in all, only graduates three seniors. With Wednesday’s experience and a wealth of talent returning, coach Kelly Swift vowed her Bulls will be back.

Hereford senior defender Hope Barber saw a special bond take shape.

“Like Jordan said, this is the closest team I’ve been on,” she said. “And I told the girls before the game — win or lose — this is the team I want to do it with, and I stand by that.”

Goals: H — Peterson 3, Antonakas 2, Moneymaker; C — Stanton 3, Little 3, A. Hackett 3, L. Hackett 4, Brewer 2, Poe Assists: H — Peterson; C — Little 3, L. Hackett 3, Sandbank 2 Saves: H — McGonigle 1; C — Mullinix 5 Half: C, 8-2


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