Hackett and Little combine for seven goals and six assists to lead Knights to impressive win over Hereford in Class 2A state girls lacrosse final




by Katherine Dunn

Fourth-ranked Century High polished off a perfect season Wednesday night with a 15-6 win over No. 15 Hereford for the Class 2A girls lacrosse crown at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

Caroline Little and Lauren Hackett combined for seven goals and six assists to erase a little bit of the sting they felt last season after falling to Middletown in the state semifinal. The Knights (19-0 overall) avenged that loss in Saturday’s semifinal and completed an unbeaten season for the second time in program history.

“This is what we’ve dreamed of since freshman year,” Little said. “We wanted it so bad and we finally got it. That loss at Middletown just fueled our fire and we came out this year so strong, a team I’ve never seen before, just played together and it was amazing.”

Century completed the season as the only undefeated girls state champion and the only undefeated girls lacrosse team in the Baltimore area. The Knights claimed the program’s ninth state title and the first since 2017.

“I’m so proud of all the girls,” said Century coach Becky Groves, who has 10 seniors on the roster. “We truly played as a team this year. When I was younger, I would focus only on my key kids and as I’ve gotten older and become a better coach, I’ve realized it takes a team. This year showed that we are a true team from goalie to the last attacker to our bench.”

The Knights’ offensive explosion started just 14 seconds into the game when Jasmine Stanton netted a blistering shot. Nine minutes later, they led 5-1 after another Stanton goal, two from Jane Brewer and one from Little.

The defense led by Lauren Wunder, Emily Rutledge, Katie Bornyek, Abby Fleishell and Jane Brewer came up with some big stops against the Bulls early, forcing three turnovers and a handful of wide shots.

In the clash of county champions, the Baltimore County champion Bulls got one goal back on Jordan Peterson’s free position. They were within 6-2 when Lauren Hackett scored back-to-back off feeds from Little to give the Carroll County champs an 8-2 halftime lead.

Coach Kelly Swift’s Bulls (15-2) needed only 15 seconds to get on the board in the second half, cutting the lead to 8-3 on Maya Antonakas’ goal. They hoped to start the same kind of rally that brought them back from an 11-2 halftime deficit to beat Towson, 13-12, in overtime in the county championship, but the Knights never let the Bulls seize the momentum.

Anna Hackett scored an extra-man goal and her sister Lauren Hackett scored on a feed from Delaney Sandbank to push the lead to 10-2. The Bulls never got closer than within nine in part because the Knights won seven of the last eight draws.

The Knights were exceptionally efficient on attack, scoring on 15 of 17 shots.

“They were very fast and they moved [the ball] very quickly,” Bulls defender Hope Barber said, “and I think we had a hard time adjusting to when we had to slide low to high, when we had to slide across, because they were moving it very quickly.”

With no weak links, six Knights scored goals, including Holly Poe, who stepped in when a second yellow card sidelined Stanton early in the second half. Lauren Hackett scored four goals while Little and Stanton had three each. Anna Hackett and Jane Brewer scored twice each and Poe scored once. Lauren Hackett and Little each dished out three assists and Sandbank had two.

“We work so hard on ‘It’s not all about you,’” Little said, “ and the reason we’re always open is because of the people who move for us. Goals are created because of other people, so I think that the chemistry that we have, where everyone knows where to go to create opportunities for people, was really important and helped us win today.”

The Knights’ toughest playoff test came early. In a regional semifinal battle of undefeated teams, they edged then-No. 4 Glenelg, 8-7. They avenged last year’s loss to Middletown, 19-8, in Saturday’s semifinal.

The Bulls weren’t really tested in the playoffs and had their closest game in the state semifinals, a 14-6 win over Huntingtown.

For the Bulls, who will graduate just three seniors, the season was still a success despite the disappointing ending, said Peterson, a senior who led her team with three goals and an assist.

“I’ve been in a couple state championships before and I’m just grateful to have these girls,” said Peterson. “It’s a great group of girls. I’m excited to see what they do. Despite it not going our way, that’s okay. One team’s got to win and one team’s got to lose and you learn from it. It’s okay.”


at Ridley Athletic Complex, Loyola University


Hereford 2 4 — 6
Century 8 7 — 15

Goals: H—Jordan Peterson 3, Maya Antonakas 2, Lindsey Moneymaker; C—Lauren Hackett 4, Caroline Little 3, Jasmine Stanton 3, Anna Hackett 2, Jane Brewer 2, Holly Poe.

Assists: H—Jordan Peterson, Maya Antonakas; C—Lauren Hackett 3, Caroline Little 3, Delaney Sandbank 2.

Saves: H—MK McGonigle 1; C—Becca Mullinix 5.