Godbout saves day for Centennial Her block of penalty shot with :22 remaining ices 1-0 win over Liberty

Field hockey

November 01, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Centennial goalie Jodi Godbout originally saw nothing positive in allowing Mount Hebron to score on a penalty stroke with 22 seconds left in last week's Howard County title game.

After all, the goal let the Vikings tie the game and win the county championship.

But when Godbout faced another penalty stroke with 11 minutes left in yesterday's Class 3A North region final with visiting Liberty, she changed her mind. Godbout felt a bit more relaxed, stopped the shot and preserved a 1-0 victory for No. 14-ranked Centennial.

Centennial (11-2-2), the defending Class 3A state champion, becomes the first Howard County team to make the states three straight years. The Eagles play next on Monday at Goucher College in the state semifinals.

Godbout came up big in the second half, making eight of her nine saves, but stopping the penalty stroke proved most important.

Ashley Meehan of Liberty took the shot, and Godbout knocked it up off the crossbar. The ball then hit the ground and stopped almost immediately -- about a foot from the goal.

"It was pretty much the same scenario as the Mount Hebrom game," said Godbout. "I wasn't as nervous. I was ready for it."

Liberty (8-6) pressured Centennial throughout most of the second half after the Eagles dominated the first 30 minutes.

Centennial took the lead when Jessica Manzone scored with 15: 35 left in the first half. The play began when Kristen Gaudio fired a shot that Christine Boone (11 saves) knocked down. Manzone then pushed the loose ball into the net from under Boone's grasp.

Centennial outshot Liberty, 15-10, for the game -- but held an 8-1 advantage at the break.

"They were pounding us in the first half," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "At halftime we said, 'Come out strong and go to the ball.' "

The Lions did just that in the second half. They began to push the ball into the Centennial zone and the chances came. After Meehan's shot, Liz Armstrong had a good shot that Godbout knocked into the air with two minutes left.

"We have a tendency to do what we need to do to get by," said Centennial coach Gail Purcell. "That's pretty much what we did."

Pub Date: 11/01/96

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