Centennial soccer coach gives his players tickets to success Notebook

November 13, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Centennial's victory over River Hill Tuesday for the Class 2A South region girls soccer championship was costly for Eagles coach Mike Senisi.

How costly?

Exactly $105.

Senisi told his team at Monday's practice he would take them to see "The Waterboy," the nation's No. 1 movie, starring Adam Sandler, if they beat River Hill.

Minutes after the Eagles' 2-1 victory, a number of Centennial players reminded Senisi of his promise.

And true to his word, Senisi took his team to the 5 p.m. showing yesterday at Snowden Square.

"It's money definitely well spent," said Senisi. "But it's not about the money, it's about the players coming together as a team. There are different aspects to coaching, and to be successful, you have to bond on and off the field. You have to have fun. It's definitely worth it."

No. 14-ranked Centennial (11-6) will play No. 10 South River (14-3) at 5 p.m. today in the first game of the Class 2A state semifinal doubleheader at Howard High.

No. 13 Loch Raven (14-3-1) plays Middletown at 7: 30 p.m.

Centennial's victory over No. 4 River Hill helped erase a disappointing regular season for the Eagles, who finished 5-4 in the league.

"We had some problems. We had some conflicts," said senior midfielder Stacie Tokasz. "We didn't play well as a team."

"We have a lot of talent, and we weren't playing at our potential," said senior Alexia Vogler, who, like Tokasz, Jane Williams and Mandy Zachmann, was on the Eagles' 1995 state championship team. "We could have been playing so much better."

The Eagles ended the regular season with consecutive 3-2 double-overtime losses to River Hill and Mount Hebron and a 2-1 setback against Glenelg.

"The Mount Hebron game showed how much we were losing focus and dedication and that we weren't trying our hardest," said Tokasz, whose team blew a 2-0 lead.

After the 1-0 loss to Glenelg, Senisi called a team meeting.

"We were at rock bottom," he said.

Senisi told his girls to forget the past and focus only on the playoffs.

"I told them we have a chance to make a name for ourselves in the state playoffs and that we can do it," he said. "We had a serious talk and exchanged ideas."

Said Vogler: "Everything came out in the meeting, and things got better."

Centennial tied South River in a scrimmage in the first week of September. The Eagles don't remember much about the game, but they do remember that Williams got a bloody nose.

South River, which shared Class 2A-3A state championships in 1996 with Liberty and 1997 with River Hill, is a very physical team. The Seahawks were issued six yellow cards in the state final against River Hill.

"We're not a physical team, but once we're provoked, we'll pick it up," Tokasz said.

Hammond plays at home

Hammond's good fortune in girls soccer continued yesterday with the announcement that it will play host tomorrow to the Class 1A state semifinals.

Williamsport will play Havre de Grace at 11: 30 a.m., and No. 5 Hammond (15-1-1) will take on Snow Hill (13-1-1) at 2 p.m.

Hammond has won two of its three playoff games in shootouts. The latest was Wednesday night, when the Golden Bears won the shootout, 8-5, for a 3-2 win over Hereford. Hammond tied the game in regulation on Melissa Workman's goal with 1: 57 to play.

"I think this is a team of destiny," said Hammond coach Pete Di Marco, whose team won two overtime games during the county season. "We've played some really close games and come out on top. Last year, we had some close games and lost. This team believes in itself until the very last tick of the clock. They don't stop playing."

Snow Hill graduated one player from its team that lost to Glenelg, 4-0, in last year's state semifinals. Junior Hayley Howe leads the team with 19 goals, and freshman Courtney Kief has 10.

Volleyball playoff

No. 2 Mount Hebron (19-0) plays No. 4 Centennial (14-3) at 5 p.m. today in the Class 2A South region volleyball championship.

The Vikings beat Centennial in four games Sept. 26 and in three games Oct. 15.

Ferrell to Vanderbilt

Mount Hebron senior Rebecca Ferrell will sign a scholarship offer this weekend to play lacrosse at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Ferrell, a three-sport athlete, took official visits to Maryland, Old Dominion, Hofstra, Syracuse and, in September, Vanderbilt. She said Vanderbilt felt like the right place.

"I saw myself being successful and enjoying it," said Ferrell, a first-team All-County defender who received nearly a full scholarship.

"I'm really excited," said Ferrell, who just completed her soccer season. "Now I can play basketball and lacrosse and not worry about where I'll be in the future."

Pub Date: 11/13/98

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