Centennial dominates Mount Hebron, 21-7 Boys lacrosse

April 22, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Centennial has been playing fine lacrosse for the past month, but yesterday's 21-7 rout at Mount Hebron stood out as an exclamation point for several reasons.

It marked the seventh consecutive victory for the Eagles (7-1), who could be headed for their first county championship in 10 seasons. The game showcased an offense that is aver aging 19 goals in its past five games. And the Eagles celebrated a victory over Hebron for the first time since 1983 by handing the Vikings (2-3) their worst defeat under six-year coach Warren Michael.

"We haven't played with this much enthusiasm and confidence all year, and we picked a great game to do it in," said Centennial midfielder Werner Krueger, the leader of the Eagles who proved it yesterday with a five-goal, five-assist performance. Krueger also sparked Centennial's quick-strike attack by winning 16 of 22 faceoffs.

"If we come out flat, we're going to lose," Krueger added. "If we come out inspired, look out."

The inspired version of the Eagles showed up yesterday, and Hebron paid the price by getting knocked out early. Centennial won four straight faceoffs and turned each one into a goal to take a 10-3 lead midway through the second period. The Vikings closed the gap to 11-6 early in the second half, but Centennial pulled away by holding Hebron scoreless over the game's final 15 minutes.

The Eagles were impressive in every phase of the game. They won 21 of 32 faceoffs to keep the ball away from the Vikings. They made 21 of 31 shots (68 percent), mainly because they beat Hebron's youthful, inexperienced defense repeatedly with one-on-one moves and sharp passes that often resulted in point-blank shots. Eight players scored.

Attackman Rob Hauff had four goals and four assists. Midfielder Brian Rhodes added four goals and two assists. Midfielder Greg Matschat had three goals and one assist. Attackman Dave Saunders scored twice.

Centennial's defense, playing for the first time without sophomore star Matt Rainwater -- he broke his hand during a 20-2 victory over North Carroll on Monday night and is probably out for the season -- had some shaky moments. Goalkeeper Will Hong patched up those problems with an 18-save effort that included eight saves in the fourth quarter.

"I've got the utmost respect for Hebron. After all, they're on top every year," Centennial coach Mike Siegert said. "I really thought we were going to have a tough game. I felt like they [the Vikings] could explode at any time. I never felt like I could relax."

Two early scoring spurts by the Eagles set the tone. After Hebron's Clay Shiflet scored to pull Hebron to within 3-2 with 3:47 left in the first period, Krueger scored twice and Rhodes added his first goal to extend the Eagles' lead to 6-2 at quarter's end.

Then, after Andrew Ballinger scored to cut the lead to 6-3 early in the second period, Centennial took control. Krueger won the next four faceoffs, and the Eagles, who converted 11 of their first 15 shots, cashed in each time.

Krueger finished the run with an unassisted goal at the 5:48 mark to make it 10-3.

Hebron ended the first half and started the second half with goals to cut the margin to 11-6, but over the game's final 19 minutes, the Eagles went on a 10-1 tear.

"We're beating ourselves a lot, because we're not executing, especially on defense. But I'm really impressed with how smart they [the Eagles] are," Michael said. "They know how to go to their strengths. When we made mistakes -- and we made a lot of them today -- they found the openings."

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