South Carroll junior Missi Monroe picked a good time to score her first goal of the season.
She scored with just under 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the first half, and the defense did the rest as the Cavaliers went on to defeat the Centennial Eagles 1-0 to capture the Class 3A, Region II field hockey championship Thursday at South Carroll.
"Missi is one of our quickest players, and all season long I've been looking for a wing," South Carroll coach Stacy Stem said.
"Sheis really coming into her own and scored a nice goal there."
The Cavaliers had countless opportunities in the first half. They were turned away, however, by a strong performance by Centennial goalie Meghan Carr -- who recorded 10 first-half saves, including six in a flurry in front of the Centennial cage at the 13-minute mark.
Monroe's goal came after Erin Eaton took a hard shot from the right side that Carr turned away. The rebound came out to South Carroll's Audrey Van Norman, who pushed it to Monroe on the left side for the score.
Centennial, which finished its season with a 7-6-1 record, opened both halves strong but had trouble creating solid scoring opportunities. They controlled a large portion of the second half with South Carroll sitting on the 1-0 lead.
"We dictated most of the second half but couldn't finish, and the result was no goals," Centennial coach Gail Purcell said.
"It is very hard to maintain momentum when you don'thave the positive reinforcement of scoring goals.
"We did all thework early in the halves but had nothing to show for it."
Stem was pleased with the second-half defensive effort of the Cavs but knowsthe team can't afford to sit on a lead in future games.
"The defense really held on and came through," Stem said.
"We scored the one goal and then laid on the lead in the second half. That's somethingwe need to work on -- working on control and not panicking."
Centennial beat Linganore, 1-0, on Tuesday to reach Thursday's regional final.
Centennial's loss eliminated all the county teams from the playoffs.
On Tuesday, Howard lost to South Carroll, 2-1, in overtime, Wilde Lake lost to Francis Scott Key, 3-1, Mount Hebron lost to Chopticon, 1-0, and Glenelg lost to Liberty, 2-1.