Centennial, Test move to brink with upset of South River, 1-0 Middletown tops L. Raven with 7 seconds left, 1-0

Class 2A girls soccer

November 14, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Centennial, which ended its regular season with three straight losses, is a victory away from a state championship.

The No. 14-ranked Eagles won their second straight game against a higher-ranked team, getting a goal in the 59th minute LTC from freshman Samantha Test to defeat No. 10 South River, 1-0, in a Class 2A state semifinal last night at Howard High.

Centennial (12-6-0) will play Frederick County's Middletown next Saturday at North County High in Linthicum for the title. Middletown (18-2) defeated No. 13 Loch Raven, 1-0, in the second game of the doubleheader on Anne Rieser's goal with seven seconds left.

The Eagles, who downed No. 4 River Hill, 2-1, Tuesday, started strong and controlled most of the game.

"I think they took us for granted at the beginning," said Centennial's Kim Paulus. "After 15 minutes of playing, they were talking to themselves negatively. They took themselves out of it."

Said Centennial's Mandy Zachmann: "I don't think they came out strong. I was surprised."

"We weren't as pumped up and aggressive as we normally are," said South River's Jessica Beard. "A lot of girls weren't as excited as they should have been."

Centennial outshot South River 10-3 in the first half and 14-5 in the game.

"We didn't back down and won the majority of 50-50 balls in the beginning, and that set the tone," said third-year Centennial coach Mike Senisi. "We played a solid all-around game, but we had trouble finishing."

Test solved that problem with 21: 05 left. Controlling the ball near the top of the box, she then broke between two defenders toward goalkeeper Erin Johnson.

"I saw the goalie lean one way, and I kicked it the other way," said Test, who has scored all four of her goals this season in the playoffs.

South River, which shared the Class 1A-2A state titles the last two seasons, took only two shots in the second half. Its leading scorer, Nichoal Zamarripa, left with 12 minutes remaining and didn't return until the 78th minute.

Centennial, which has won four state titles, the last in 1995, kept South River off balance with a strong passing game. South River just kicked the ball and never got into any offensive flow.

"We played very well," said Centennial senior midfielder Stacie Tokasz. "We worked as a team. We were determined."

"We're playing the best soccer of the season right now," Senisi said. "I'm just so proud of the girls. I'm so glad they have a chance to experience this feeling."

Middletown 1, No. 13 Loch Raven 0: Middletown outshot Loch Raven, 19-5, but didn't score until its last shot -- by senior striker Anne Rieser -- with seven seconds remaining.

"I knew there was only a few seconds left, so I went for it," said Rieser, who put the shot from the left side of the box into the top right-hand corner. "I saw the far post, and that's where I was aiming. We dominated the game, and it only took one."

Loch Raven (14-3-1) took only five shots in the game.

Pub Date: 11/14/98

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