It's all Centennial in 2-0 win

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

By any estimation, No. 1 Centennial was the dominant team in yesterday's league opener against Atholton.

The Eagles fired off 17 shots; Atholton managed just two.

Centennial (4-0-2, 1-0) had eight corner kicks; Atholton (2-2, 0-1) had none.

But the final score of 2-0 was disappointing for Centennial's players.

It wasn't until the 70th minute that the Eagles managed to score their second goal when Brad Terrill tapped in a short crossing pass from Brian West. It was Terrill's first goal of the season.

"We couldn't finish and sometimes it gets scary," Centennial coach Bill Stara said. "But we finally put together two good games back-to-back, and we made a good effort at attacking. I think we were just being unlucky."

Sophomore striker Matt Stephenson (four goals) curled a 25-yard shot into the right corner of the goal just 28 seconds into the game, handing an early jolt of frustration to Atholton's players and fans.

"That goal really hurt us," Atholton coach Reg Hahne said. "Our goalkeeper was out of position. But they've got some horses and it's really tough to play against such great players.

"I'm encouraged by our second half. The first 30 minutes of that half we played well. We were not in the game the first half and didn't do much the last 10 minutes of the game."

Centennial's superior team speed gave Atholton tremendous problems in the first half. The Eagles missed six good scoring chances that half, and two more in the second period.

"They had opportunities," Hahne said. "It could have been 10-0."

West, Centennial's All-Metro striker, played a drop-back or inverted forward position that made him look like a midfielder. And he created lots of problems for Atholton with his speed.

"Coming out of that position, he really hurt us because he was already facing the goal so he didn't have to turn. We couldn't keep up with him," Hahne said.

West hit the crossbar with a header and curled a shot wide of the right post in the first half for his misses.

A number of other Eagles had good opportunities that they weren't able to finish.

"I'm not real worried about it as long as we keep creating opportunities," Stara said.

The game wasn't as hard-fought and physical as in previous years.

"One game doesn't make a season, especially now that everyone makes the playoffs," Hahne said.

Centennial is a Class 3A school and Atholton is Class 2A, so the teams won't meet again.

Atholton was missing its starting sweeper, senior Stafan Thelander, who was out sick. Sophomore Naa K. Ewool-Robotham filled in in at sweeper and did a nice job.

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