Young Centennial passes Howard test

October 08, 1994|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Special to The Sun

In the middle of six games in 10 days, Centennial girls soccer coach Kevin Flynn is calling this period a make-or-break time for the Eagles.

Yesterday's 3-0 win by No. 5 Centennial (6-0, 2-0) over host and No. 13 Howard (2-4-1, 0-2) told Flynn and co-coach Dave Greenberg that Centennial's youth is mitigated by plenty of experience.

All three Eagles goals, a season low for Centennial, were scored by a freshman and two sophomores. Leading the scoring pack is freshman Jen Coulson, who got her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

"We have three people who can score in Jen, Michelle Clare and Lauren Molinaro," Flynn said. "A lot of teams we play don't have that luxury."

Howard is one of those teams. Still trying to cope with the surprising lost to Glenelg earlier this week that included the loss of Lions junior midfielder Meg Cronin (concussion), Howard could not mount much of an attack in the first half against Centennial.

Centennial penetrated Howard's defensive shell midway through the opening half. Sophomore forward Sarah Bartholomew's shot from 12 feet nipped the upper-right section of the crossbar and bounced behind Lions junior goalie Elissa Sheffrin for a 1-0 Eagles lead at the 20-minute mark. Clare (six goals) picked up the first of her two assists in the game.

Coulson made it 2-0 with 10 minutes left in the first half by getting a rebound off Sheffrin's diving body and blasting a shot ++ past the grounded Lions keeper.

Howard's best first-half scoring opportunity, a direct kick by junior forward Alyssa Gamaldo late in the half, was nullified by an offside call.

Centennial's lead grew to 3-0 in the second half when sophomore Katie Garrity beat Sheffrin in a one-on-one situation, and for the second time in the game, an Eagles shot glanced off the crossbar and into the goal.

Howard was not as fortunate.

"We have two of our best shots go off the crossbar and sail wide," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi. "Perhaps if we got just one goal, we could have got our momentum going because we've been a second-half team."

Howard, however, would finish with just five shots on Eagles junior keeper Rima Sidhu, who recorded four saves.

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