River Hill rebounds from loss, blanks Centennial Boys soccer

October 21, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The big question surrounding yesterday's River Hill game against Centennial at Angelo Fortunato Memorial Stadium was how the Hawks would respond after losing to league-leading Mount Hebron last Friday.

That loss ended a 19-game winning streak and knocked River Hill from the No. 1 spot in the Baltimore metro-area rankings.

"It was important that they come back and play well today, and they did a pretty good job of that," River Hill coach Bill Stara said after his team blanked the Eagles, 3-0.

Centennial (6-4-2 overall, 3-3-1 league) had plenty of reason to be fired up. The Hawks were the only county team to beat the Eagles last season, the 1-0 thriller ending a 46-game league unbeaten streak and a string of six straight county titles.

And the Hawks also knocked the Eagles out of the Class 2A playoffs in the regional semifinals, 2-0.

But yesterday it was River Hill (11-1, 6-1) that took control early when Adom Crew scored his ninth goal of the season in the seventh minute.

The All-Metro junior forward capitalized on a failure by Centennial to clear the ball, and rifled home a middle-of-the-field shot from 18 yards. Centennial goalkeeper Mike Dramby elected to stay home and not try to improve his angle.

Dramby did come up big in the 14th minute, as the Hawks exchanged rapid passes in front of the goal and Dramby displayed quick reactions to thwart a score.

In the 23rd minute, the Hawks pulled off a picture-perfect play. Justin Gotis struck a cross toward the far post that Crew headed back to Matt Charmella, who headed it into the goal.

"The key for us today was to play well in the first half," Stara said. "We flexed our muscles and got the second goal, and I was happy with that effort."

Centennial put several long shots on goal in the first half to test goalkeeper Mike Dibella, who responded flawlessly with seven saves. But Dibella was never severely tested.

And in the second half, shots were rare for the Eagles.

"The second half just became a lazy afternoon soccer game," Stara said.

Matt Boras did convert on a putback in the 80th minute to close out the scoring.

And with 20 minutes left to play, Dramby momentarily ended the boredom by racing about 10 yards across the field and chest-butting Brett Endler, who had clipped his ankle. Both players received yellow cards and their coaches sat them out the rest of the game.

Pub Date: 10/21/98

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