Centennial wins 8th straight Boys lacrosse

April 24, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

While averaging 19 goals in its past five games, Centennial's boys lacrosse team had relied heavily on its fast-break offense. Yesterday against Oakland Mills, the Eagles showed how adaptable they are.

Centennial turned to its settled offense, using patience and crisp passes to exploit visiting Oakland Mills' zone defense. As a result, the Eagles overcame an early 2-0 deficit and went on to a 12-7 victory.

The Eagles (8-1) won their eighth straight and handed the Scorpions (6-2) their second consecutive defeat with an effort that validates Centennial as the team to beat in Howard County.

"We've got guys who really care about lacrosse, and they think like lacrosse players," Centennial coach Mike Siegert said.

Two days after routing defending county champion Mount Hebron, 21-7, Centennial turned in another textbook performance.

Its offense, led by senior midfielder Werner Krueger (four goals, two assists), won 14 of 20 faceoffs and took advantage of sloppy ball-handling by the Scorpions to control the tempo. Six players scored. Ten of the Eagles' 12 goals were assisted, and Centennial outshot the Scorpions 32-17. The Eagles converted three of six extra-man opportunities.

Their defense, led by goalie Will Hong (nine saves), held the Scorpions to one goal over the final 18 minutes of the first half, when Centennial rebounded from a 2-0 deficit to take a 6-3 lead at intermission. Except for a two-goal spurt midway through the third quarter that trimmed Centennial's lead to 9-5, the Scorpions sputtered throughout the second half.

The Eagles held the ball for nearly the entire fourth quarter, when they outshot Oakland Mills 10-2.

Centennial's sophomore attack trio of Rob Hauff (one goal, three assists), Tony Harding (three goals, one assist) and Dave Saunders (two goals, two assists) was outstanding. Midfielders Brian Rhodes (one goal, one assist) and Dave Matschat (one goal, one assist) finished the scoring.

Siegert thought the key to the victory was the Eagles' willingness to slow the pace.

"You have to be that way against a zone," he said. "It's tough for me to sit there, because I want to score 20 goals. [Assistant coach] Bill [McDermott] put in the zone offense. It's not much fun for the fans to watch. I love the transition game, but I fully realize the importance of a half-field offense. We had to play that way today, and we executed it well."

The Eagles were in a 2-0 hole 90 seconds into the game, thanks to goals by Chris Constantino and Shannon Hiteshew (two goals, one assist). The Eagles then began to flex their offensive muscle.

Matschat, Hauff, Harding and Saunders scored over the next eight minutes to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead heading into the second period.

Oakland Mills attackman Iggy Levelev scored off a loose ball to cut the lead to 4-3 midway through the quarter, but the Eagles, sparked by a great save by Hong, hurt the Scorpions in transition. Saunders fed Harding, who scored from close range to make it 5-3. Krueger then brought the Centennial fans to their feet with a behind-the-back shot that hit the upper-left corner of the net.

Centennial blew the game open by scoring three times in the opening two minutes of the second half. Rhodes, Harding and Saunders made it 9-3 with 8:03 left.

The Scorpions cut the deficit to 9-5 with 7:12 left, but the Eagles tightened their grip after that. Krueger scored their last three goals.

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