Centennial holds on for title

November 03, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Luck gets an assist in No. 3 Centennial's first regional field hockey championship in a dozen years.

The Eagles (14-0) seemed a step slow the entire game but still managed to edge an aggressive South Carroll squad, 1-0, in the Class 3A North regional title game yesterday at Centennial.

"We were very lucky to win," said Centennial coach Gail Purcell. "It was the longest game of the season for me. From beginning to end, it just seemed endless. We did not settle the whole game. It's a tribute to the kids that not playing well we still beat them."

Next week, the Eagles hope to play more like the team that has outscored the competition 36-5 with 10 shutouts. They go after Howard County's first state field hockey title in a semifinal game Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Goucher College in Towson.

That gives the Howard County champs plenty of time to get over whatever ailed them yesterday.

Despite 16 penalty corners, the Eagles managed to score off just one. Cavaliers keeper Jamie Moyer first cleared away shots by Emily Ward and Kim May, but Allison Altscher stopped the second clear and punched it in less than five minutes into the game.

The Eagles had a 12-5 shooting edge, but the game was not lopsided. The Cavaliers (8-5-1) pressured Centennial's defense plenty and had eight penalty corners. They just did not get the shots.

"They outplayed us in the first half," said Eagles back Karyn Bruns. "They beat us to almost every ball. They did a lot of switching fields, which made our defense really work for the ball."

Time expired on the Cavaliers' best offensive series. Eagles keeper Becca Armiger made her only two saves in the 10 seconds before half time.

"I thought if that clock doesn't go off soon they're going to score on us," said Purcell. "They were pounding and pounding and pounding and we were totally out of position. The defense was blocking Becca out. She couldn't see the ball."

The game ended the same way with South Carroll taking its only shot of the half with just nine seconds left. Katie Rockwell sent a good pass to Jill Baldwin, but Baldwin's shot carried just wide.

Defensively, the Cavaliers, especially back Heather Leaf, frustrated the Eagles by stopping long passes meant for wing Ward, who was shut out for only the second time this year.

"We were doing some stuff that even impressed me," said Cavaliers coach Stacy Stem, whose team peaked for the playoffs after struggling a bit in its Carroll County league schedule.

"We had good stops, we had good passing, we knew where the holes were, we tried to put the ball there. We're not real strong or quick. It just seemed like today we were."

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