'Together' Centennial edges Magruder 1-0 victory puts Eagles in 3A final vs. Fallston

November 07, 1995|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

"I can't believe this," said Centennial goalie Becca Armiger said. "We've had such a rocky year. But it's all coming together when it should and when it matters."

The Eagles, who began the season 0-2, defeated Magruder, 1-0, yesterday in a class 3A state semifinal game at Goucher College. No. 15 Centennial (9-4-2) will meet No. 2 Fallston (16-0) Saturday at 2 p.m. for the title. Fallston is 46-0-2 over the past three years.

Though Fallston is formidable, it will be facing a Centennial team that finally is playing up to its expectations.

"This is the team I knew we had," said Centennial coach Gail Purcell, who will coach in the final for the first time in her 19 seasons. "I think they're peaking. These kids are coming on."

"Last year we were cruising at 14-0 and couldn't pull it off," said senior midfielder Liz Sturm, referring to Centennial's loss in the state semifinals. "This year we've worked so hard and fought for everything we had. It proves a lot."

Two players that have played well recently for the Eagles came up big again against Magruder (11-5). Goalie Becca Armiger made an excellent save off a penalty corner midway through the second half to keep the game scoreless, and Allison Altscher scored her 10th goal of the season with 10 minutes left to provide the margin of victory.

Magruder's Christy Hart took the hard, low shot off a penalty corner that Armiger kicked away with her right leg.

"That was an amazing save she had," Magruder coach Kathleen Mulholland said. "Good keepers are going to get that save."

Kristin Gaudio started the Centennial scoring play by racing to her right inside the circle to keep possession. Gaudio got the ball as passed it back to the middle, where Altscher put it in the left side of the goal.

"I saw the open side of the goal on the left and shot it in," said Altscher. "I was wide open on the shot. It happened in a split second."

Centennial's defense, led by sweeper Christine Davies, held off Magruder the rest of the way. Now the Eagles, the fourth county team to make it to a field hockey final, will try and become the first to win a championship.

"We've had a lot to prove this year," said Altscher. "We got off to such a low start losing our first two games. We knew we had to put ourselves together, it's just taken the whole season to do that. We're a good team now. We finally learned to play together."

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