In talented company, Centennial still stands above the rest

HOWARD SPORTS

October 19, 1994|By RICK BELZ

Boys soccer fans couldn't ask for a more exciting week. The top four county teams went head-to-head yesterday and will do so again on Thursday.

Oakland Mills, Glenelg and Mount Hebron all are trying to unseat three-time defending county champion Centennial, which has a 28-game unbeaten streak against county teams. That streak includes three ties.

Centennial has lost only three league games since 1987 -- two of them to Oakland Mills and one to Howard. The Eagles' league record during that period was 42-3-5.

Since 1987 Centennial has averaged one loss per season and its overall record is 99-8-9.

The team that has the best history of defeating Centennial is Oakland Mills, which plays at Centennial tomorrow.

The Scorpions are the last county team to have beaten Centennial -- in 1990, a year in which Howard won the county title. They defeated Centennial twice that season, once in the regionals.

The Scorpions are a team that has had 10 different players score this season, after losing their top three scorers from last year's disappointing (6-5-2) team.

Centennial was expected to dominate this season, but injuries to its top three strikers plagued the team early and contributed to two nonleague ties against C. Milton Wright (1-1) and Mount St. Joe (0-0). Striker Brian West missed two of the first three games, including the St. Joe game, and has scored just three goals.

The Eagles finally appear to be back on track, however. They've allowed only five goals, and now have scored 25.

Centennial (8-0-2 overall, 5-0 county) has five shutouts and has won three 1-0 games. The Eagles have not allowed more than one goal in any game.

Oakland Mills (9-1, 5-0) has five shutouts and has won two 1-0 games. The Scorpions have outscored their opponents, 26-7.

"We're not so concerned about the last three games as we are about getting ready for the playoffs," said Centennial coach Bill Stara.

"We need to play better team defense. Teams have been coming at our backs too much."

Wildecats oh so close

In the what-a-difference-a-year makes category, Wilde Lake's boys soccer team's story is remarkable.

Last season the Wildecats (9-5-2) had seven shutouts, won four of five 1-0 games and were 6-3 in games decided by one goal as they made it to the state finals.

This season Wilde Lake (2-7, 0-4) has been shut out six times, lost five 1-0 games and been outscored, 11-5.

Victory looks bigger

Centennial's boys soccer team's 1-0 victory over Whitman earlier this season rose in stature last week when Whitman defeated Churchill and ended that school's 41-game winning streak.

Centennial and Whitman have met in the state Class 3A championship game two straight seasons and are likely finalists again.

Toughest soccer league?

One of the few ways to measure a league's overall toughness is to tabulate its nonleague record.

County boys soccer teams are a formidable 24-8-2 outside the county this season.

Some argue that the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference is a tougher league.

Its overall nonleague record is 9-6-3.

But take away Calvert Hall's 5-0-1 mark and the rest of the league has a losing record at 4-6-2.

Centennial wins golf

Centennial, led by Lance Rhodes, edged Glenelg for first in the Howard County Golf Club high school team standings.

The individual county championship tournament is 9 a.m. Friday at Hobbit's Glen and will include 16 players.

Rhodes and Jon Sniscak of Mount Hebron are the favorites.

Russo still going for 100

Hammond High football coach Joe Russo may be getting a little antsy. For the past two weeks he's been hoping to get coaching victory No. 100.

Instead, the Golden Bears have lost back-to-back games to Wilde Lake and Centennial.

Russo's record in 16 seasons stands at 99-71. The Bears have finished second six times but never won the county championship. They've had only four losing seasons.

The Bears tackle high-flying Oakland Mills this week for their homecoming game.

Glenelg CS coaches needed

Glenelg Country School needs a girls junior varsity basketball coach, a boys middle school coach and a girls middle school coach.

Call athletic director Dean Gregg at (410) 531-6406.

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