Centennial warms up in 2nd half, tops C. M. Wright

March 31, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Centennial coach Gail Purcell must be glad she didn't schedule more than one game during spring break.

Yesterday, the No. 13 Eagles played like they were on a break, struggling to get past C. Milton Wright, 11-6, in lacrosse.

"You're allowed one bad game a season, and I hope we've gotten it out of our system," said Purcell, whose squad had played superbly in beating No. 12 South Carroll last week.

Yesterday, the Eagles (3-0) could thank senior goalie Chantal Loomis and freshman third home Jen Simon for keeping them in the game. Loomis had 17 saves, including five in a critical second-half stand.

Loomis, who moved from the field to the goal late last season, allowed three goals in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the game. After that, she gave up just two more before leaving late in the second half.

"At the beginning of the game, I wasn't focused," said Loomis. "I got upset at myself for not focusing. I think [the goal] is like my home -- I don't want anybody to score anymore, so I get aggressive, but the only way to be aggressive is to focus."

On the other end, Simon scored all three of her goals in the first half while the Eagles were outshot, 16-10. She snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Eagles the lead for good just before halftime.

Even though the Eagles did not play their best game, the Mustangs (1-1), who start five sophomores, deserve some credit, too.

"We didn't take this game as seriously as we should have," said Eagles senior first home Jen Wienecke. "They're not a bad team at all. They're very good. I think they really shocked us when we went out and they were scoring."

Early on, C. Milton Wright used its excellent midfield speed and draw control to take a 2-0 lead before the Eagles offense got going. Willow Waldrop scored both goals, the second on an assist from Annie Sappington.

The Mustangs held onto the lead until Centennial strung together three straight goals late in the half. Gretchen Heilman followed up goals by Simon and Teresa Cabanilla to put the Eagles on top, 4-3, with 8:08 left in the half.

On one of their best passing series, the Mustangs tied the score when Sappington found Kristin Shrader open near the crease.

With 1:14 to go, Simon then put the Eagles on top to stay when she snatched a ball out of midair and fired it past Kim Kalista (17 saves).

In the second half, the Eagles picked up right where they had left off as Wienecke and Jamie Fontaine scored back-to-back goals for a 7-4 Centennial lead.

Loomis almost single-handedly held off the Mustangs for the next five minutes as several defensive fouls kept the Mustangs within striking distance. During that stretch, Loomis stopped five shots, including a free position.

Sappington finally broke through with her first goal to pull the Mustangs within 7-5 with 18:23 to go. But Centennial's offense started to click as the Eagles scored four straight goals. They outshot the Mustangs, 24-16, in the second half.

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