Kershner's 2 goals, 1 assist push Centennial past Thomas Stone 3-0 win leaves top-ranked Eagles 1 win from title 3A boys soccer

November 13, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

WALDORF -- Centennial coach Bill Stara said no one wanted to listen when he tried recently to push senior midfielder Morgan Kershner for the Maryland Association of Soccer Coaches' all-state team.

Kershner made a believer out of Thomas Stone coach Tom Parker yesterday by scoring two goals and getting one assist, as the third-seeded Eagles beat the host Cougars of Charles County in the state Class 3A semifinal, 3-0.

Top-ranked Centennial (13-1-1), two-time defending Class 3A champion, now advances to next Saturday's 5 p.m. state final at Old Mill against Whitman, which defeated Franklin, 2-0.

"Morgan's done everything in the world for us on the field this season," Stara said.

Kershner sprained his wrist 10 minutes into the game, but continued playing despite the pain.

His first goal of the game was a penalty kick in the 29th minute -- his third successful penalty kick in as many tries this season.

"I didn't think too much about it," he said. "I just let it rip. I do it in practice all the time."

Freshman Brian Otten set up the penalty kick by dribbling into the penalty box against three defenders. He was turned around and lost control of his dribble, and as he went to retrieve the ball he was tripped from behind about three feet inside the box.

"It was a pretty stupid foul," Otten said. "I didn't even have the ball on my feet."

"That was the ballgame because we knew they'd then throw everything back on defense they could," said Parker. "It was the first penalty kick we've given up all season."

Thomas Stone (13-2), which was making its eighth trip to the state playoffs, had allowed only four goals all season. Thomas Stone's lone state title was in 1991.

The Cougars, after stopping two dangerous shots by Centennial's leading scorer, Brian West (15 goals), trailed only 1-0 at halftime.

Stara had moved his second-leading scorer, Matt Stephenson (11 goals), from striker to marking back for this game. Stephenson, a fresh man, shut down Thomas Stone's leading scorer, All-American David Hayes (33 goals).

Stephenson didn't learn he'd be playing a new position until Wednesday. "I know Matt can do whatever we ask," Stara said.

Early in the second half, Hayes got off his most dangerous shot, a 6-yarder that Centennial goalkeeper Dan Christine saved.

Chris Donohue scored Centennial's second goal in the 49th minute on a follow-up volley after Kershner's header was deflected following Allen Alejandro's throw-in.

Thomas Stone wasted two scoring opportunities by hurrying shots that sailed way over the goal. And in the 75th minute, the Cougars came up unlucky with a shot off the post.

The final goal developed in the 77th minute when West had a breakaway but nearly tackled from behind by his jersey. Thomas Stone's Jason Flynn, who had marked West the whole game, was ejected for the play, and Centennial was awarded a direct kick from the 35-yard line.

Kershner volleyed it into the net off goalkeeper J. B. Gretton's right hand for his 11th goal this season.

"We're doing whatever we have to to win and getting some magical goals," Stara said.

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