Centennial withstands pressure to defeat Glenelg

May 05, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

The pressure was on the Eagles. Centennial's hopes of repeating as county lacrosse champions rode on the outcome of yesterday's game against surging Glenelg.

Glenelg (8-4, 4-1) was coming off an overtime victory against Mount Hebron, had won six straight and was unbeaten in league play.

A win over No. 11 Centennial (10-2, 4-1) would have produced a payoff for the Gladiators they haven't experienced since 1985 -- a county championship.

But Glenelg came out a bit flat and despite two strong rallies, lost to Centennial, 10-7. They are tied for first place with one game remaining.

"Centennial played well and consistently for 40 minutes and we lost our focus a bit because Centennial played so well," Glenelg coach Rick Kincaid said. "We were not coming through ground balls hard and then spotting the open man."

Centennial jumped on top 4-1 after a first quarter highlighted by goalkeeper Brian Carr's first goal.

"Glenelg was riding everyone and no one picked up Carr, so he brought the ball all the way down and scored," Centennial coach Mike Siegert said. "Our goalkeeper has never scored before."

Carr, whose goal made it 1-0, almost scored again later in the quarter but his shot was rejected by Glenelg goalkeeper Tobi Heusser. Rob Hauff retrieved the loose ball in front of the net and scored, however, putting the Eagles ahead 3-1.

Glenelg scored twice on man-down situations in the second quarter to close within a goal, 4-3. Mike Shakelford's left-handed VTC running shot increased Centennial's lead to 5-3.

Glenelg's James McKenney won a faceoff and took it all the way for a score with a minute left in the first half, and the Gladiators were within, 5-4.

"One of the things we wanted to do was to neutralize McKenney on faceoffs and we think we did that with Hauff, Joe Lowrance and Scott Bross taking turns facing off against him," Siegert said.

Centennial's David Saunders scored two of his five goals in the third quarter to spark the Eagles to an 8-4 advantage heading into the final period.

Then it was Chris Forespring, Conner Pett and Greg Edell who scored three straight Glenelg goals to cut Centennial's lead to 8-7 with 1:08 left to play. Edell's goal was a hard bouncer that landed in the upper portion of the net.

Glenelg had a chance to tie, but Edell's shot missed and Centennial's Matt Rainwater retrieved the ball, raced down the field and passed to Saunders whose low bounce shot found the net with 31 seconds left. Saunders added another goal with 15 seconds left.

"One thing about our team is that it never quits and never stops hustling and playing hard when it gets behind," Kincaid said. "Centennial just played a little better than we did."

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