Cen­tury tops Da­m­as­cus, 2-1, to ad­vance to 2A state semis

Ch­e­sa­peake-AA falls in 3A East; Fall­ston, Perry Hall, Pat­ter­son Mill win

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Me­gan Woodward —Mike Morea, Bal­ti­more Sun Media Group Bal­ti­more Sun staff con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

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.

DANIEL KUCIN JR./BAL­TI­MORE SUN MEDIA GROUP

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.

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