Magruder overpowers Centennial Eagles are out-muscled in 3A semifinal, 1-0

Field hockey

November 05, 1996|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Let's get ready to rumble.

It's a phrase heard at boxing matches, but it seemed appropriate to Centennial yesterday after Magruder used its aggressive style to defeat the defending state chamions, 1-0, in a Class 3A state semifinal game at Goucher College.

"We weren't used to such a physical game," said Centennial junior Jessica Euler. "Our game is more settled. We didn't know how to play against them."

Said Centennial coach Gail Purcell: "Their physicalness took us out of the game. I think you have to give our players credit. They kept their cool and displayed some class."

Magruder, which returned 13 players from last year's team that lost to Centennial, 1-0, in last year's semifinal round, dominated the first half. The Colonels took six more shots, had five more corners and were much more aggressive.

"I think they were a little intimidate by us after the first half," said Magruder's Debbie Zarchin, whose team-leading eighth goal of the season 2: 39 into the second half was the difference. "We were ready for them this year. I think they underestimated us."

Said Centennial's Mary Christine: "They were a lot rougher and more physical than we were and got to the ball better. I think our stickwork kept us in the game."

Centennial (11-3-2) played a stronger second half, and created chances to score. "They were definitely a different team in the second half," Magruder coach Kathleen Mulholland said. "They were more aggressive."

But the Eagles, who had won their three previous playoff games by 1-0 scores, couldn't connect against the Colonels, who began the playoffs with a 4-6-2 record.

"We had a lot of opportunities that we didn't capitalize on," Purcell said. "The ball seemed to be on our feet a lot and we couldn't get shots off."

Both teams had goals disallowed in the first half. Magruder's goal was taken away for obstruction. Later, Euler thought she had scored when she flicked the ball past goalie Rachel Fields. But the official ruled that the shot was dangerous.

"Everyone thought I had scored," Euler said. "There wasn't anyone between me and the goalie."

Despite the loss, most of the players were upbeat after the game. The Eagles now have been to the state semifinal three years in a row, and will lose only four starters from this year's team.

"It been an incredible year," Euler said. "I think we have a lot to be proud of, especially after losing so many seniors last year. We'll be back again."

Pub Date: 11/05/96

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