Playoff success is all the Century girls soccer team has ever experienced in the program's brief two years.
Maybe that explains why there was no panic from the No. 3 Knights in yesterday's Class 2A state final game at UMBC, even when there were only 20 minutes left in their season and it was No. 11 Glenelg that had the only goal of the game.
No worries, just goals for the Knights, who got two goals from senior standout striker Lauren Schwarzmann and the game-winner in between from sophomore midfielder Amanda Bradley to pull out a 3-1 win over the Gladiators to make it 2-for-2 in state crowns.
"I don't think our team felt down, we just knew we had to step it up and put the ball in the net," said Schwarzmann, who got it started with a shot from 15 yards that slipped under diving Glenelg keeper Karyn Curley.
"I never thought we were going to lose this game. I always thought in my heart that we were going to come back and win. Our team has so much heart and so much determination that - I don't know - I couldn't see us anywhere but in this game and winning."
All season long for the Knights, who closed out the season with 13 straight wins to finish with a 16-2-1 mark, once the first goal came, others soon followed.
That was the case again yesterday.
With the Gladiators (14-3-1) locked in their own defensive end and on their heels, Bradley let a shot go from about 40 yards that caught just enough wind to sail over Curley and just under the crossbar for the game-winner with 11:24 left.
"I got the ball at my feet and just looked up at the goal because that's what we needed. And if I didn't score, I knew someone would be there to follow it up," said Bradley. "I felt pretty confident with it. When I saw the keeper jump, I sort of slowed down, but then [after it went in] I just started jumping. It was incredible."
The Gladiators, who set a program record with 11 regular-season wins, got the start they were looking for: slow down the Knights early and try to get a lead. Brandy McReynolds provided the 1-0 lead when she headed home a direct kick sent in from Nike Rogers in the sixth minute of play.
Staying organized in the back with tight marking held to form for the Gladiators until the last 20 minutes - plenty of time for the confident and persistent Knights.
"We weren't trying to stay locked back and win the game, 1-0, they're just that good," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan. "Our girls worked hard. But you know [Century] is going to break you down a little bit - that's why they're two-time state champs."
With the 2-1 lead and under eight minutes to play, senior midfielder Kelly Kasper headed away the Gladiators' only real threat to tie on a corner kick. Schwarzmann then sealed the game with her second goal from 8 yards.
"They [Kasper and Schwarzmann] have set such a high standard for this program and have built such expectations," said Century coach Vanessa Ozimek, whose Knights are 31-3-1 in two varsity seasons. "We've got a lot of talent coming up and they're going to fill those shoes."
Goals: C-Schwarzmann 2, Bradley; G-McReynolds. Assists: C-Kasper, Bradley; G-Rogers. Saves: C-Nichols 6; G-Curley 9. Half: G, 1-0.