Young Century team falls in 1st title game

Perennial player Rising Sun nets 4th crown

Rising Sun 2 Century 0

Field Hockey Class 2A

November 13, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

The Century field hockey team was playing in the program's first state championship game last night, and the spectacle of the event gave some of the players jitters in the opening minutes.

Furthermore, the Knights were matched up against Rising Sun, a powerhouse from Cecil County that appeared in five of the past six state playoffs and had three state titles under its belt. The game eventually slowed for Century, and it had the better end of play for several stretches.

However, Rising Sun scored a goal in each half and locked down the Knights' attack for a 2-0 victory in the Class 2A championship at South River. After losing three consecutive games at the end of the regular season, the Knights rolled through the playoffs. Coach Gayle Taylor hopes last night's appearance in the championship game was start of a long tradition.

"We had couple of opportunities, but they are a good team," Taylor said. "I think we were a little nervous in the beginning because we are a young team. Getting here was a great accomplishment, but this is just the beginning because we have many more years to go."

Rising Sun (14-2) reached the final by outscoring its opponents 18-1 in its first four playoff games.

Senior midfielder Whitney Reid opened the scoring for Rising Sun with just less than 13 minutes left in the first half when she collected a loose ball and found the far corner of the goal. It was Rising Sun's only shot of the first half, compared with two by Century.

Despite several opportunities, the Knights had trouble pushing the ball past Rising Sun's defenders, who crowded the goal.

Rising Sun was last year's Class 1A champion before moving up a class this season, and that experience showed in the second half as it was able to keep the ball away from Century. The Tigers also won titles in 2002 and 2003.

"We had a rough spot at the end of the year, but that just got us more pumped," said Samantha Smith, a senior captain for Century. "None of us can be disappointed with today. We all played hard even though it took us a little bit to get into the game. They are just a really great team."

The Tigers added to their lead five minutes into the second half when senior Rebecca Willert was able to outrun two defenders for Century (11-6) off a clear and slide the ball into the middle of the goal.

"We knew we had to get the ball moving and not get off to a slow start," Rising Sun coach Gail Dillaway said. "In 1A, it was a lot easier getting through the playoffs, except for the last two games, which were always a challenge."

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