4-0 win over River Hill keeps Eagles in title mix Centennial, together at last, dominates during first half

Field hockey

October 17, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Centennial coach Gail Purcell walked to the bench after yesterday's 4-0 win at River Hill and sat next to Kristin Gaudio. She put her arm around the senior forward and gave a little hug.

"This is fun," Purcell said to Gaudio. "I want to play all those other games over again."

The victory kept the Eagles (7-3-1 overall, 6-1-1) alive for a share of the Howard County title. River Hill (8-3-2 overall, 5-2-1) was eliminated from contention.

Defending county champion Mount Hebron clinched at least a tie for the championship yesterday with a 4-0 victory at Howard.

Mount Hebron (9-1-1, 7-0-1) plays host to Centennial Monday in the final regular-season game. A victory or tie will give the Vikings the title outright, while a loss would tie them with Centennial.

The Eagles have had an excellent week, starting with a 5-1 victory over Wilde Lake Tuesday. But the impetus for their improved play began last Thursday when they tied Atholton, 1-1.

"After the Atholton game, we said, 'We're so much better than we're playing, it's time to put it together,' " Purcell said.

"It was a reality check," said Jessica Euler, who had two assists against River Hill.

Said Jessica Manzone: "It was like a kick in the butt."

Purcell said the Eagles "played a wonderful game Tuesday against Wilde Lake and sustained that [against River Hill]."

Centennial controlled the first half, and took a 1-0 halftime lead on Gaudio's eighth goal of the season.

"That is the first time we've been completely dominated by a team," said River Hill coach Martha Henderson, referring to the first half.

The Eagles had a 6-0 advantage in corners in the half and limited River Hill to one shot.

The Hawks pressured Centennial in the first eight minutes of the second half, but goalkeeper Donna Boccuzzi and Mary Christine made excellent plays.

Manzone took a nice crossing pass from Gaudio and scored to make it 2-0 with 15: 59 remaining.

"That second goal took the wind out of us," Henderson said.

Gaudio scored again with 5: 42 left. Then Sarah Davis added the final goal 71 seconds later on a penalty stroke.

"The team decided this had to be a decisive victory to show people we're an outstanding team," Purcell said. "This was an entire team effort."

Mount Hebron 4, Howard 0: Katie Jeschke scored twice and Polly Purcell and Liz Eberhart each added goals as the Vikings clinched a share of the county title. "To be co-champion already, I am so proud of them," said Vikings coach Jeannette Ireland.

Pub Date: 10/17/97

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