Century reigns on dry field, 4-1

Dietz hat trick too much for Key in playoff opener

Boys soccer

October 29, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Century boys soccer coach Mike March Sr. readily admits his squad plays its best on a dry field. So with showers in the forecast yesterday, the Knights' coach had some anxious moments before his team's Class 2A West playoff opener against Francis Scott Key.

The rain held off, and the Knights' offense poured it on.

Forward Kyle Dietz had three goals and an assist, and teammate Mike March Jr. added a goal and two assists, as host Century steamrolled its way to a 4-1 win.

"The rain is always a factor with this team. We do very well, as long as it's not raining," March Sr. said. "We were very composed tonight. We played a very smart game, kept the ball moving and played it our way."

The Knights (7-5-1) advance to the regional quarterfinals, where they will face top-seeded North Hagerstown later this week. The day, time and site have yet to be determined.

For a team coming off a shutout loss to Liberty following a 1-1 tie against unbeaten Thomas Johnson, Century's scoring onslaught couldn't have come at a better time.

"Momentum is everything, and getting a win under your belt at this level is big," March Sr. said.

The momentum started early for Century, which outshot Key 15-5. A minute into the game, Dietz chased down a ball in the corner and sent a well-placed cross in front of the net to March Jr., who beat goalie Matt Baile to his left to make it 1-0.

After the Eagles (4-9) tied it on Jeremy Ziegler's goal off a feed from Brad Thompson with 26:40 left in the half, Dietz then answered with a pair of goals over the next 22:35 to give his team a 3-1 lead by halftime.

"Things just started happening," said Dietz, who nearly scored a fourth goal, but could only watch as his soft grounder from in front hit the near post 5 minutes into the game.

"We had some breakdowns down the middle and we lost some concentration on the outside," Key coach Steve Smith said. "When you give good teams some opportunities, they take advantage of them."

Dietz again took advantage about 12 minutes into the second half, beating his defender with a quick move and racing in from the right side for his third goal. It gave the junior his second hat trick this season.

"He has a talent for shooting," March Sr. said of Dietz, who has 13 goals this season. "When you can get the ball at his feet, he can usually put it away. He's a very talented player."

For Francis Scott Key, which showed sparks, the hole proved just too deep.

"Four-to-one is a tough hole for us. We're not a very good comeback team," Smith said of his team, which is dominated by juniors and sophomores. "But we played well. It's something to build upon for next year."

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