Centennial boys lacrosse coach Mike Siegert finally is back in the swing of the postseason. Siegert, who had not been to a playoff game in 10 years with the Eagles, watched Monday as Centennial whipped South Carroll, 9-4, in the Class 3A Region III semifinals.
After taking a 2-1 lead at halftime, the Eagles awoke from their offensive doldrums to score seven second-half goals. Cullen Meade (two goals, three assists), Bill Alborn (two goals, two assists) and Werner Krueger (two goals) supplied the main punch.
Now comes a real test. To advance to the state semifinals, the Eagles (12-2) must beat Harford County champion C.M. Wright (14-1), which plays host to the Region III final tonight at 7:30. The Mustangs gave Centennial a 10-5 shellacking six weeks ago.
"They [Wright] don't have a weakness. They are solid across the board, and they have so much quickness," Siegert said. "We've got to stop their transition game, we've got to stay out of run-and-gun situations and we've got to stay out of the penalty box."
In other words, the Eagles must play a perfect game. Don't count them out yet. They are 11-1 since that loss to Wright.
Kudos to Howard's girls lacrosse team and first-year coach Terry Flaig. Although the Lions lost a 14-11 decision to Centennial Monday in the 3A Region III semifinals, Howard made plenty of news just by showing up.
The Lions stood for futility during the first four years of girls lacrosse, as they won only five county games and never gave the playoffs a passing thought.
Howard turned it around with a surprising, second-half surge. And after winning five of six county games following a 19-7 loss to Centennial, the Lions ended up in second place behind Mount Hebron with a 5-2 county record. Howard wound up 7-6 overall.
"I knew the girls could win. They knew they could win, but they just didn't know how,"said Flaig, a substitute teacher who has never played lacrosse.
The Lions will have to go on without four-year starter Emily Petrlik, who finished a superb career by topping last year's 70-goal effort. She wound up with 73 goals. She scored 10 goals twice and averaged nearly six goals per game. She is headed to UMBC on a lacrosse scholarship.
But the key to Howard's surge was the emergence of other players to complement Petrlik. Sophomore Amy Shourds finished with 31 goals. Cindy Yi had 17.
The softball teams at Centennial and Glenelg are gearing up for their postseason runs.
Centennial, still undefeated and fresh off its county championship, earned the top seed in Class 3A Region III and will host Linganore (Frederick County) in the semifinals tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Senior pitcher Jodi Meitl wound up the season the way she began it -- in complete control. Meitl has each of the Eagles' 17 victories, and pitched all but three innings of Centennial's regular season. In 112 innings, she gave up 34 hits, walked 13 batters, struck out 179 and allowed barely an earned run every two games. Her ERA is 0.63.
Glenelg, which finished at 13-2, losing both games to Meitl, heads into the 2A Region I playoffs tomorrow as the top seed. The Gladiators will play host to a team to be determined at 4 p.m.
The Gladiators, who have gone 36-6 against the county in the last three years under coach Chuck Struhar, excelled in all areas this spring, but none as much as defense. In 15 games, Glenelg committed only 13 errors.