Knights' 'game-time girl' Davis saves tie

She scores all 3 goals as Mavs go to 3rd straight OT

September 30, 2014|By Danny Haines | For the Baltimore Sun Media Group

When the whistle sounded at the end of the second half, Manchester Valley found itself in a familiar position.

For the third time in three games, the visiting Mavericks would need overtime to decide the outcome, this time against Century. However, this time the No. 3 Knights and the No. 14 Mavericks failed to score and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

"My defense played our hearts out, Century has a great offensive team and the girls have speed all around," Manchester Valley coach Joe Miller said. "They never gave up, and they never put their heads down, and I told them they played their tails off."

A strong defensive performance was needed as Century (6-1-1, 3-0-1 Carroll County) struck quickly in both halves. With 34:32 remaining in the first half, Keri Mathias sent a pass on the ground to Kylie Davis, who put the ball in the back of the net from the center of the field.

"Capitalizing early is really important because then you have some leverage, but you want to make sure that you're playing hard throughout so you don't let them back in," Davis said.

That would be a recurring event, as Davis scored all three of Century's goals, all in key situations. After Davis gave the Knights an early lead, Manchester Valley (7-1-1, 3-0-1) quickly responded.

Just more than eight minutes later, the Mavericks cleared the ball out and Grace Crawford broke free and scored to tie the game. Then, with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the first half, Nikki Miller sent a pass to Desi Rill on the left side of the field. Rill settled the ball before firing a shot past Century goalie Cari Rusk.

Davis once again made her presence known, scoring on a breakaway with just more than two minutes left in the first half. And with 38:13 remaining in regulation, Davis scored on a pass from Erin Bielski.

"Kylie is like my game-time girl, that's what she is," Knights coach Sara Figuly said. "She is just a beast; if she's tired or hurt, she comes through all the time. She is one, if not the best, athlete that I've ever coached before."

The Mavericks played their way back by remaining calm and executing.

With 23:53 remaining in regulation, Kiely Bunce lined up a corner kick from the right side. She sent the ball in the air toward the middle of the box, and Nikki Miller headed the ball in to tie the game.

"Century scored within the first five minutes of the first half and the first two minutes of the second half, which is always demoralizing after a pregame talk and a halftime talk," Joe Miller said, "but if they're going to score, then score early, so you have time to catch up."

For most of the last 20 minutes, Century controlled possession and constantly put shots on goal. But Manchester Valley's defense held up, despite Century having seven corner kicks in the last half and overtime combined.

The Knights then quickly set the tone in the first overtime period, once again keeping the pressure on the Mavericks. Davis said there was a greater sense of urgency after Miller tied the game.

"We want to go for a three-peat in the county, and we just didn't want them to keep us from doing that," Davis said. "And once they caught up to us, we needed to put it in another gear."

In the second overtime, Manchester Valley had a number of chances but failed to convert any of them as the teams tied for the second consecutive season. They are tied atop the Carroll County standings.

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