River Hill unpacks 'grasping' Eagles, 4-0 Stara's chalk talk helps team solve Centennial 'D'

Boys soccer

October 31, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill knocked Centennial out of the Class 2A South regional playoffs for the second straight season yesterday in Ellicott City.

The No. 4-ranked Hawks (14-1) coasted to a 4-0 opening-round victory against an Eagles squad (7-5-3) that no longer resembles the powerhouses that won seven state titles under coach Bill Stara.

Stara left Centennial for River Hill three seasons ago, and his Hawks are hoping to defend their first state championship.

If yesterday's game was an indication, they might. Led by sweeper Elliott Marquis, they posted their 10th shutout. They have outscored their opponents, 47-6.

River Hill will be host Tuesday to a quarterfinal game against Charles County's McDonough.

Against Centennial's pack-everyone-back defensive strategy that Eagles coach Ron Martin described as "grasping for straws," River Hill looked awesome.

The Hawks scored in the 15th minute on Randal Brown's put-back following a kick-out by fullback Randy Van Allen on Brett Endler's point-blank shot.

Adom Crew, who missed two games this fall while working with '' bTC the Under-17 national team, set up the sequence with a cross from the goal line right of the net.

"When you can dribble through three defenders along the baseline and bring it back, like Crew can, then you are going to have guys open in the goal-mouth, and that's what happened," Martin said.

"They are fast, and they are good, and we are average. And there is no magical field placement to take care of their finesse players."

Stara expected Centennial's pack-it-back strategy, which earned the Eagles a 0-0 tie against No. 3 Mount Hebron last week.

Before yesterday's game, Stara used chalk and the sidewalk at River Hill to explain two attack options Centennial's defense opened for his team.

"This was a good first-round playoff game," Stara said. "You never want to have to play in the first round. But we got into a rhythm. And no one got hurt."

Endler (seven goals, six assists) scored the second goal in the 17th minute off a cross from Brown.

River Hill's Todd Tedrow raised the score to 3-0 in the 54th minute, when he shot only to have diving Eagles goalkeeper Mike Dramby deflect the ball high into the air. Tedrow patiently waited for it to come down and kneed it into the net.

Clif Jackson added the final goal, a left-footer from 15 yards set up by Crew's throw-in.

Pub Date: 10/31/98

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