Centennial, Hammond sweep for Howard Co. No. 5 Eagles win fifth state crown

Girls soccer

November 22, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The Centennial Eagles, who ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak, ended the postseason last night on a five-game winning streak and as state champions.

The fifth-ranked Eagles, combining solid defense and an opportunistic offense, defeated Middletown of Frederick County, 2-0, for the Class 2A state title at North County High School. Centennial has been in six state tournaments and won five (1991-92, 1994-95, 98), more than any other team in the state.

Centennial was able to shut down Knights all-state forward Anne Rieser, who has 25 goals. Meanwhile, Centennial's opportunistic offense was at it again. The Eagles (13-6) took only five shots in the game, three in the first half, but scored on their first two.

Centennial's Jane Williams took the ball down the right sideline and crossed it into the middle. Fellow senior Stacie Tokasz controlled it, and the ball bounced toward Maggie Via.

"I saw the ball coming and I just wanted to put something on it," said Via, who broke her nose in the regular-season finale against Glenelg. "I knew I had to volley it into the corner. I didn't believe it was in at first, because I hit it with my left foot."

The goal came with 17: 20 left in the first half, but two minutes later Rieser dribble almost 60 yards down the left side before hitting her shot wide. Five minutes after that, Rieser sent a beautiful shot toward Niemann, who tipped it over the crossbar.

Zachmann took Centennial's second shot of the game -- with 7: 15 left in the first half -- and scored on a header.

Middletown (18-3) outshot Centennial, 11-5 in the game and 7-2 in the second half. But the Eagles' defense contained very well, and clearly was more aggressive to the ball. The key, however, has stopping Rieser.

Class 1A

Hammond, which had won three of four playoff games in shootouts, needed no drama in a 6-0 state-title victory over Williamsport.

Instead, all the fourth-ranked Golden Bears (17-1-1) did was score. And score. And score some more.

Junior forward Katie Fink found the net six minutes into the game, and Hammond was on its way to a 6-0 victory over the Wildcats of Washington County at North County High School.

"This is great," said Hammond goalkeeper Lindsey Mitchell, who, with two other teammates, left immediately for Raleigh, N.C., where her club team was playing.

Class 3A

Leonardtown (17-2) scored with just under five minutes remaining for a 2-1 win over North Carroll (11-6-2).

Pub Date: 11/22/98

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