Century claims 2A-1A

Zerhusen's 2 goals, 4 assists lead to second crown in 3 years

Century 16 Pikesville 6

Girls Lacrosse

May 24, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

Having won a girls lacrosse state championship as a sophomore, Century senior Brittney Zerhusen was determined to go out with the same big finish.

Yesterday at UMBC, Zerhusen had two goals and a state Class 2A-record four assists to lead the No. 4 Knights to a 16-6 victory over Pikesville for the Class 2A-1A championship.

In their four years as a varsity program, the Knights have been to the state final every year, with titles in two of the past three.

"Being here four years in a row is an honor in itself," Zerhusen said. "Winning it for the second time, looking at the scoreboard seeing that we're up by [10] goals, it was like, `Oh my God. We did it again.' Another plaque is going to go in my room and it'll say state champions instead of state finalists."

With the victory, the Knights finished 19-0 for their first unbeaten season.

"This year was just great, because we went undefeated and our team has worked so hard and well together throughout the whole season," said junior Jenny Steadman, who scored six goals yesterday.

"Winning the state championship has been our goal from the start of the season, and winning it was great."

Though the Knights cruised through the second half, they faced a battle from the Panthers (11-6) early on. Century took a 3-1 lead on Kaitlin Schwarzmann's goal midway through the second half, but two goals from Pikesville's Megan Seidman tied the game at 3 with 10:18 left.

"We played the kind of game we wanted to play," Panthers first-year coach Polly Purcell said. "We said we wanted to play a half-field game with them, not get into a running match with them, and that's what we did. First half, we executed very well."

Pikesville, a first-time state finalist, pulled within 6-4 at the half thanks to a Rebecca Kreshtool goal with 49 seconds left, but the Knights picked up the pace and began to run up the lead in the second half.

When the Knights got the momentum, the Panthers couldn't slow it down. Steadman scored two goals, and Kelly Burgoyne added a third and fed Tara Collins for a fourth as the Knights opened a 10-4 lead with 10:12 left in the half.

The Knights outshot Pikesville 33-14, but the biggest gap came in the second half when the Knights had a 19-5 advantage.

"We came out with heart, wanting to win," said Panthers defender Carley Glass. "We knew we could play with them. I think we got tired, because they're quick. It wasn't a matter of giving up."

The Knights caused many of the Panthers' 17 turnovers, but Pikesville had a lot of unforced errors that the Knights took advantage of.

The Panthers began to pressure more late in the game, but the Knights took full advantage of every opening with five assisted goals from five different players in the final 5:15 - four of them assisted by Zerhusen, who will play next year at Ohio State.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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