Mt. Hebron spoils Centennial plan

April 21, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Centennial's game plan revolved around Mount Hebron second home Cathy Nelson.

If Eagles' defenders Emily Ward and Jaime Fontaine could neutralize Nelson, Howard County's scoring leader, then No. 11 Centennial might be able to upset No. 6 Mount Hebron for the first time in four years.

Ward and Fontaine did their job holding Nelson to just two shots and one goal, but it wasn't quite enough yesterday.

Midfielders Lynette Chastant and Erin McGinnis picked up the slack, combining for seven goals, while Dani Vissers scored five and took over the county scoring lead with 35 goals and six assists.

That was plenty of offense to lead the host Vikings (6-1 overall, 3-0 league) past the Eagles, 15-10.

Eagles coach Gail Purcell wasn't the least bit upset with her young team's performance.

"To come within five goals of Mount Hebron -- and they're No. 6 and we're 11 -- is respectable. If we meet again, we'll be poised because we know now we can play with them," she said.

The Eagles (7-1, 2-1) could meet Mount Hebron again in the Class 3A-4A regional playoffs, but this win should end up giving the Vikings their fourth straight county title.

Yesterday, the Vikings got off to a quick start when Jen Stocker found Chastant wide open up the middle for the first goal just 23 seconds into the game.

Winning four of the first five draws and taking advantage of a handful of defensive fouls, the Vikings ran up a 5-0 lead.

The Eagles couldn't convert their fast breaks, and the Vikings outshot them 12-1 in the first 11 minutes.

"Our midfield connections are really what held us back," said Centennial defender Katrina Wolfe, whose team was outshot 36-18.

"Our defense played a great game, but when we got it up to midfield the connections didn't work. Once we finally did get it up to the offense, we were fine."

That took a while. Just 6:47 remained in the half when Becca Armiger scored the Eagles' first goal on only their second shot.

Still, the Eagles recovered enough to hold the Vikings' lead to four at halftime.

Trailing 8-4, the Eagles scored the first two goals of the second half.

Chrissy Sfakianos hit a free-position shot and then Jen Simon (four goals, two assists) found Liz Sturm for a quick-stick goal to cut the lead to 8-6 with 20:53 left.

But Chastant quickly snapped the Eagles' momentum running off the draw to score nine seconds later.The Vikings then poured in four more goals in less than five minutes.

Centennial threatened once more pulling within 13-9 with 12 minutes to go, but the Vikings stifled that rally with a couple of goals and some solid defensive play.

The competition doesn't get any easier for the Vikings, who travel to the Roland Park North-South Tournament Saturday.

Mount Hebron defeated No. 2 Roland Park last year to win the tournament, but Vikings coach P.J. Kesmodel said it could be a different story this time.

"We'll see if we can compete with the big boys again," said Kesmodel.

"We're playing better now. [Yesterday] the defense played the best they've played all season. By the end of the year, I think we'll be pretty good, but Saturday will be a tough test for us."

The Vikings open with Tower Hill (Del.) at 11 a.m. after the Reds take on Haverford (Pa.) at 10.

The consolation game follows at 1:15 with the title game at 2:30.

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