Centennial eliminates Perry Hall, 9-5

May 22, 1994|By Marc Bouchard | Marc Bouchard,Special to The Sun

Chalk one up for youth.

The Centennial Eagles, with a roster dominated by underclassmen, downed a senior-led Perry Hall squad, 9-5, yesterday in a Class 3A-4A state semifinal at UMBC.

Centennial will play Annapolis, a 18-0 semifinal winner over Edmondson, for the 3A-4A state title Wednesday at 8 p.m. at UMBC Stadium.

"I'm really excited, especially with the poise our kids showed," said Centennial coach Mike Siegert, whose Eagles were routed the past two seasons in the semifinals. "It feels good to get rid of that mental stumbling block."

The first quarter was evenly played, as each team took five shots.

Third-seeded Centennial (14-2) scored first when junior midfielder Mike Shackelford got an unassisted goal 2:01 into the game.

Second-seeded Perry Hall (12-4) answered 23 seconds later, as senior midfielder Jeff Taylor scored unassisted to tie it.

The remainder of the period was scoreless until junior attackman Jeff Iannarino scooped up a ground ball that had rolled through the outer defense and beat Perry Hall senior goalie Brandon Hill one-on-one to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead with 28 seconds left.

Two goals in the first 2:48 of the second quarter by junior attackman Tony Harding gave Centennial a 4-1 lead, but then Perry Hall senior attackman Greg Stark took charge of the Gators' offense.

Stark scored four unassisted goals in a span of 2:50, the last one coming on a hard, low shot from the restraining line, to force a 5-5 tie at halftime.

"We knew Perry Hall had a lot of offensive fire power and they showed it when they came back," said Siegert, who started just one senior yesterday. "But the kids stayed in there and showed a lot of patience."

That patience led to four unanswered goals in the second half.

Shackelford netted the go-ahead goal on an extra-man opportunity with 1:31 left in the third quarter.

Shackelford, Iannarino and junior attackman David Saunders scored fourth-quarter goals for the final margin.

"Centennial's a good ballclub, and they move the ball around real well," said Perry Hall coach Bill Dunkerton, whose second-seeded Gators, who start eight seniors, beat Lansdowne and Dulaney to reach yesterday's semifinal. "We made some bad passes, didn't take care of the ball."

Centennial, which beat Mount Hebron and C. Milton Wright in the regionals, lost 12 of 17 faceoffs, but used a frustrating ride to take control of the ball.

"We did a nice job riding, and that was the difference," said Siegert.

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