River Hill clips wings of Centennial, ending six-year region run Two goals in three minutes also break 10-game streak

Boys soccer

November 01, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Earlier this season, River Hill ended Centennial's 46-game league unbeaten streak.

Yesterday, the No. 3-ranked, second-year Hawks dealt No. 5 Centennial an even more bitter blow, ending the Eagles' string of six straight regional championships, a 10-game unbeaten streak, and their season.

A logjam in playoff scheduling forced Centennial to play on one day's rest and contributed to River Hill's 2-0 victory in the Class 2A South region semifinal game.

River Hill (13-1), state Class 1A runnerup last season, played its quarterfinal game on Tuesday. Centennial (11-3-1), as the visiting team, was forced to play its quarterfinal game against Atholton Wednesday because Atholton's girls soccer team was using the stadium field on Tuesday.

And while the Hawks cruised, 10-0, over Surrattsville, the Eagles struggled to a exhausting 2-1 overtime win against Atholton.

The overcrowded schedule worked against Centennial again when the Centennial girls team claimed the Eagles' stadium field yesterday, forcing the boys to give up their home-field advantage and shift the game to a neutral site -- at Atholton.

The Eagles could not play today because the Centennial football team has the stadium in the afternoon and SAT exams are being given in the morning. Centennial's stadium is not lighted.

"I don't want to use one day of rest as an excuse," Centennial coach Ron Martin said. "We've only been shut out by one team this season, and they did it to us twice, so they must be pretty good.

"We had three good chances in the first half and needed to convert on one of them," Martin continued. "We had to bust ourselves to get past Atholton, and that made a difference in the second half today. As tired as we were, we still played a better second half than the first time we played them."

The Hawks, coached by former Centennial coach Bill Stara, dominated much of the second half and finally scored in the 62nd minute. Justin Gotis kicked a right-footed shot past diving Centennial goalkeeper Mike Dramby to the far post. It was his second goal of the season.

"Billy Allen played a great through-ball to me, and I was able to finish, to my great surprise," Gotis said. "I'm not a goal scorer."

Two near-misses by the Hawks preceded that goal, one a sliding shot by Randal Brown that Dramby saved, the other a shot by Clif Jackson that missed an open goal.

Just before Jackson's miss, Centennial also had a near-miss on a hard header by Chris Moe from 20 yards that sailed just over the crossbar.

Allen, one of four River Hill seniors, clinched the game with his sixth goal of the year in the 65th minute. Dramby made a diving block of a hard shot by Brown, in close. The rebound went back to Brown, who passed to Allen for the easy score.

"Billy wanted it. He called for it, and he's the man. He's been waiting for this game all season," Brown said. "This will be a great memory for him."

Pub Date: 11/01/97

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