Eagles soar past Whitman in OT

November 13, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

ROCKVILLE -- "Talk about an emotional high," Centennial stopper Doug Ulman said after he scored the Class 3A state semifinal game-winning goal against Whitman in overtime last night. "Talk about an emotional high."

Ulman and his teammates survived an emotional roller coaster to defeat Whitman, 2-1, for the second time this season.

Whitman (14-2), ranked No. 14 nationally in the UMBRO coaches poll, and Centennial, ranked No. 22 in the same poll, gave the capacity crowd at Magruder night filled with drama.

The game threatened to get out of control early after Centennial goalkeeper Brock Yetso was kicked in the nose by a Whitman player after making a save. The nose appeared to be broken, but Yetso returned almost immediately and played like the national team player that he is.

But the officials began cracking down on rough play and ended up issuing nine yellow cards -- six to Centennial. Centennial midfielder Kris Dramby eventually received two yellow cards and had to leave the game for good with 7:30 left in the first overtime.

No. 1 Centennial (14-0-2) continually created scoring opportunities in the first half but was unable to cash in.

With 17:34 left to play in the game, Ulman finally broke the scoreless deadlock by heading a goal at the back post off of Brian West's free kick. West took the kick from about six yards inside the left end line.

"We all looked at each other and pushed back the way we did the first time we played them, and figured they weren't going to score," Ulman said. "But we were letting them dribble and Brock had to make four saves in the last minute."

One save Yetso could not make was on a direct kick from the 19-yard line by Whitman's Bruno Valdecantos whose shot with 1:30 left to play found the top right corner -- the upper 90 -- impossible for Yetso to stop.

That sent Valdecantos streaking across the field and ripping off his jersey in celebration. The kick was set up by a handball violation against Centennial sweeper Ben Stephenson.

"We put our heads down a little after that goal but we got ourselves together for overtime," Ulman said.

Centennial coach Bill Stara said: "They've come a long way and I didn't think they were going to let it die. I wondered whether I had pulled the plug too early and maybe put too much pressure on Brock."

But with 1:35 left in the first overtime, West hit a corner kick that slipped through Whitman's defense and landed at Ulman's feet and his left-footer found the net.

"It's just great to be a part of this," Ulman said.

The Eagles will play C. Milton Wright in the state finals Saturday at Old Mill.

Centennial will be going for its sixth state championship and third in the last four years. Whitman defeated Centennial in the state final last season.

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