Oakland Mills upsets Centennial, 8-6

April 23, 1994|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Special to The Sun

The wake-up call for Oakland Mills came with 5:37 left in the third period, when it trailed visiting and No. 11 Centennial by four goals.

At that point, junior attack Iggy Levelev scored his first of three goals, beginning a six-goal spree that led to the Scorpions' upset of the Eagles, 8-6, yesterday.

But prior to Levelev's spark, coach Phil Stephenson found his Scorpions "asleep," not only against Centennial, but also in a 7-4 loss to Glenelg Wednesday.

"We know we've got a team that's capable of playing with Centennial, Mount Hebron and anybody else in their league," he said. "And that's what we hammered home to our kids. Once they woke up, they showed it."

For Oakland Mills (7-2, 3-1), the six straight scores provided a 7-5 lead with 2:36 to play. Centennial, with a one-man edge off a slashing penalty, broke the streak on Tony Harding's goal with 1:36 left. But Scorpions midfielder Sam Smith then turned in the defensive play of the game.

With Centennial (8-2, 2-1) in possession and controlling the ball, Cole intercepted Harding's pass near the Scorpions' goal. Cole streaked downfield and found teammate Dennis Cole, who bounced the ball past goalie Brian Carr (seven saves) for a two-goal lead with 1:06 left.

Of Smith's clinching play, Cole said, "He legged it up the field and dished it off to me. I just ran up about 5-10 yards and shot."

Levelev and attackman Chris Costantino (three goals) were Oakland Mills' offensive stars. But Costantino's first score just before the half came only after Centennial had taken a 3-0 lead on goals by Harding, Jeff Iannarino and Dave Saunders.

The Eagles dominated the first half. Using methodical passing against a zone defense, they outshot the Scorpions, 9-4. Oakland Mills also failed to capitalize on two two-man advantages in the second period.

Centennial coach Mike Seigert said, "When we got a lead, we kind of relaxed. We thought all we had to do was go through the motions and it didn't work out like that."

In particular, Levelev and Costantino made certain the Eagles weren't secure. With the Scorpions showing more aggressiveness and Centennial looking flat, Levelev scored three times and his teammate once to tie the game, 5-5, with 9:15 to play.

Thirty-seven seconds later, midfielder Matt Rollman scored off Lorenzo Thweatt's assist for the Scorpions' first lead, 6-5. Costantino delivered again with 2:36 left before Smith's defensive highlight and Cole's score accounted for the win.

On offense, the Eagles were led by Harding (two goals) and midfielder Mike Shackelford (five assists). But, especially after taking the four-goal edge, they couldn't execute against the Scorpions' stingy zone.

"This was a big game for us," Stephenson said. "It's a game we knew we could win, we knew if we wanted any respect we had to win it, and we put the challenge to the kids."

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