Century Girls Soccer’s Melody Leiva on becoming a world champion in a game she loves – Baltimore Sun

Century Girls Soccer won the Class 2A State Championship in an overall team effort. Rather than relying on a dominant Superstar to carry the burden, the Knights brought together a bunch of talented players to form a special entity.

One of the key pieces is Melody Leiva. The elder forward finished the year among Century’s top scorers and was an integral part of offense, moving the ball and putting pressure on opposition defences.

A day after winning a state championship with a 1-0 win over Glenelg, Leiva was back on the field playing for her club side, but took some time to speak to the Carroll County Times.

(Editor’s note: Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.)

Century's Melody Leiva, second from right, receives the Class 2A state champions trophy after the Knights defeated Glenelg 1-0 at the Ridley Athletic Complex of Loyola, Maryland on Friday.

The day after winning the national championship, did you finally realize that you are the national champion?

Yes, it has. Yesterday it didn’t even feel real; it really felt like a dream. We’ve all wanted it so badly all season and we’ve all put in so much hard work and effort. We got the result we wanted.

As the team took the lead, how did you feel in the last few minutes as you tried to hold on?

My first reaction was relief. I was so glad we got one. We got shots the whole first half and we finished one in the second half and that put us in the mental state to finish the game.

Everyone has told me in the last few days that this was never a goal. They’ve focused on counties and regionals. When did you think that a state title would be possible?

I think after we won the Regionals it felt like we could definitely move on. We played game after game and kept winning. It leveled off after one regional game.

Century's Melody Leiva and Glenelg's Kendall Anderson battle for the ball during the Class 2A State Finals Friday night in Loyola, Maryland.

You’re back on the football field less than 24 hours after winning. do you love soccer so much?

Oh yes, I love soccer.

Were you tired after playing two days in a row? What was it like playing in that atmosphere on Friday?

When I came back I had my friends in my club team that I played against yesterday. It’s so nice when they tell me, ‘Oh, my little state champion.’ And playing, that’s a big difference, very different from high school. It’s a bit difficult to get used to the way they play, but I’ll get back to it.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I’ve been playing soccer since kindergarten, about 12 years.

What kept you in football for so long?

I tried a lot of sports when I was younger and there came a point when I didn’t want to play any sport other than soccer. In middle school, I had my own urge to follow football.

What is it about the game that inspires this kind of passion in people?

I think when you’re on the field it’s a whole different thing. Everything that is outside, personal things, everything disappears. It’s an outlet, at least for me. It frees me from all the stress from school or personal life, it puts me in a good mindset.

Do you plan on playing in college?

Yes, I’m speaking to Shepard University right now.

Century striker Melody Leiva reaches for the ball past Westminster defender Emily Erb during a match in Westminster October 17.

What are your future plans at school and beyond?

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I want to study and then find a job. I would like to do physiotherapy and athletic training, stay in sports.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you travel to?

Hawaii. My club trainer was in Hawaii and showed us pictures today. I thought, ‘Wow, I really want to go to Hawaii.’

If the Century girls’ soccer team went to a karaoke night, who would start singing?

Jane Brewer would definitely be first on stage and Maddy Whiteman and they would sing the duet “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the movie Coco.

If Hollywood made a movie about your team, who would coach Chris Little play?

Maybe someone like Adam Sandler.