Eagles gain revenge, region final

November 01, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Centennial's players had one collective thought before yesterday's field hockey game against Linganore.

"Revenge -- that's all we had on our minds," said Eagles link Kim May. "They knocked us out of it last year, but they barely knocked us out (2-1). We knew this was our chance for revenge and we knew we had the strength."

And revenge was sweet for the No. 3 Eagles (13-0). Emily Ward scored three goals in the 4-0 victory over the Lancers, the defending state Class 3A co-champs, in a North region semifinal.

The top-seeded Eagles play host to second seed South Carroll, a 1-0 winner over Mount Hebron in the other semifinal, for the region championship at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow. The Eagles are trying to make their first state semifinal since 1982.

Yesterday, the Eagles played bound and determined. Except for an early second-half lapse, the Eagles dominated their Frederick County rival (5-6-2), especially in the midfield.

Eagles May and Liz Sturm constantly fed the ball up to the line, especially to Ward. The senior's ability to move the ball quickly and under control took the visiting Lancers by surprise.

"It took the girls a few minutes to wake up to what was going on," said Lancers coach Bonnie Fenwick. "No other hockey team that I've seen this year plays with a cherry picker, but she has the speed and the skill to do it."

To set up the first goal 10 minutes into the game, Sturm fed Ward with a long drive from beyond midfield and she took the ball in untouched from the left wing. Lancers keeper Sarah Griffin stopped the shot, but Ward reeled in the rebound and angled it just into the far edge.

Seven minutes later, Ward scored again all alone on a break. Allison Altscher made it 3-0 late in the half, and Ward added the final goal on another break in the second half.

The Eagles might have scored more but for Griffin (nine saves). She stopped a couple of point-blank shots and saved Ward's first-half penalty stroke.

Centennial coach Gail Purcell said Ward's scoring has been a key factor in the Howard County champs' title run. Ward has scored or assisted on 19 of the last 23 Eagles goals.

"A lot of teams don't have a cherry picker who can finish," said Purcell. "And we have a team that can get it to her. The kids are thinking constantly, 'Get the ball and get it up to Emily.' I think that really strengthens our game."

Only a handful of balls reached Eagles keeper Becca Armiger, who had to make just two saves -- one in the final 30 seconds.

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