Century tops Damascus, 2-1, to advance to 2A state semis
Chesapeake-AA falls in 3A East; Fallston, Perry Hall, Patterson Mill win
Century’s Megan Snyder carried the ball down the right sideline, looked up and saw teammate Emily Rusk smiling, waiting.
Snyder looked as if she would take the shot herself, but she crossed the ball through to Rusk instead, and the sophomore midfielder put it into the net.
It was the first goal scored in Century’s Class 2A West region final against Damascus, and the reigning 2A West champions didn’t want to let that go. The No. 6 Knights (15-2) defeated the Hornets, 2-1, and advanced to the state semifinals for the second consecutive year.
The Knights will face Calvert on Friday or Saturday at River Hill. Calvert and Southern were tied at 2 after two overtime periods, and the Cavaliers won in penalty kicks, 3-1, for the 2A South title.
Rusk scored with18:58 to play in the first half.
“I saw Megan get to the ball and I thought it was going to be offside, but it wasn’t, so I kept running up to support her,” Rusk said. “I was confident that she could have made it if she shot it, but I wanted to be there just in case. And she ended up crossing it, and it worked out.”
The Knights carried a 1-0 lead into the half despite some close calls from Damascus (7-4). The Hornets nearly scored when one of their players attempted to head the ball in off a corner kick, and another shot went just over Century’s crossbar.
Senior goalie Hannah Basso, who made seven saves in the victory, had a crucial stop halfway through the first half when a Damascus forward aimed a low pass directly to Basso, who fell on top of the ball and caught it.
Damascus junior Drew Dunathan tied it up at 1 with a goal that slipped past Basso’s fingertips and into the top left corner of the goal, but the Knights didn’t waste time in getting their advantage back. Senior midfielder Rachel Wagner’s free kick from the sideline at the 25-yard mark flew out of Damascus goalie Amy Caputo’s reach and into the back of the goal.
“It’s something we work on all the time,” Knights coach Sara Figuly said. “Actually, the farther it’s out, the better [Wagner] does with it, so if it’s closer, we’ll have somebody else take it. Where she kicked the ball from today when she scored, that’s the perfect range for her.”
Century is on an eight-game winning streak and most recently got past Carroll County foes Liberty and Winters Mill to advance to the region final. Rusk and Snyder, both sophomores, were on the Knights’ varsity last year when their season ended with a 1-0 loss to Fallston in the state semifinals.
This time, the girls are determined to take Century further.
“I think I got a lot better with keeping calm on the field and my confidence,” Snyder said. “Last year, I was watching Hannah Warther, Kylie Davis and Keri Mathias, and I wanted to be like them, so I’ve been working really hard in practice.”
NORTHERN-CALVERT 1, CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL 0: Brittney Reffit scored with a 35-yard shot that got just under the crossbar as the host Patriots (14-1) beat the Cougars (9-7-1), advancing to the Class 3A state semifinals for the fifth time and second in the past three years.
The loss denied Chesapeake-AA its fourth trip to the semifinals and first since 2005.
“We started on Aug. 10 and we told them that we were going to play possession, and they looked at me like I was crazy. They just developed right and played well,” said first-year Chesapeake coach Kevin Keeter, who was an assistant coach for years with the Cougars boys.
“We played all tough games before we got to the Anne Arundel County schedule, and there, it’s a gauntlet. I think the girls were battle-tested, but we played a really good team tonight. It’s a shame somebody had to lose. But I couldn’t be more proud of how the girls played.”
NO. 11 FALLSTON 4, QUEEN ANNE’S 0: The visiting Cougars (14-3) won their third regional championship by beating the host Lions in a Class 2A East region final.
Logan Ward, Maria Gentile, Alicyn Lose and Kassidy Webster scored for the defending Class 2A state champions.
NO. 9 PERRY HALL 1, MONTGOMERY-BLAIR 0: The Gators (14-3) beat the Blazers in a Class 4A North region final at CCBC-Essex and advanced to Saturday’s state semifinal at Wise.
NO. 10 PATTERSON MILL 4, SNOW HILL 0: The Huskies (14-3) beat the host Eagles in a Class 1A East region championship.
Century midfielder Emily Rusk (6) celebrates after scoring in the first half of the Class 2A West region final against Damascus. The Knights advanced to the state semifinals for the second consecutive year.