Centennial makes River Hill see red

Hair color, goalie's goal help `unified' Eagles topple Hawks, 12-11

Boys lacrosse

May 05, 1999|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Centennial was "dyeing" to upset River Hill yesterday.

The Eagles (10-2 overall, 7-0 league) figured they needed a little edge against the purportedly superior River Hill Hawks and dyed their hair red. The school colors are red and white.

"It was for team unity," said Eric Jones, a senior midfielder who scored a goal and had three assists in Centennial's 12-11 victory. "We all chipped in to buy the dye."

The ploy apparently had the desired effect. The Eagles jumped to a 5-2 lead after one quarter against the distracted Hawks and upped it to 11-7 after three quarters, before the dye began to drip garishly down players' necks.

River Hill (9-3, 5-2) rallied strongly in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Eagles 4-1 and cutting the lead to 12-11 with 1: 43 to play.

Moments later, Centennial goalkeeper Mike Schmidt, whose hair was reddest of all, threw the ball away on an attempted long clear, giving River Hill one last chance.

With 10 seconds left, River Hill's Abe Dyer (three goals, one assist) ripped a shot at Schmidt's feet that the goalie snared, averting sudden-death overtime and setting up a Thursday county championship showdown with Mount Hebron, also perfect in league play.

"I was telling myself at the end that I've got to stop this shot to make up for my mistake," said Schmidt, whose day was memorable for another reason.

He scored, a rare thrill for a goalie. His goal was the last of the first half, giving Centennial a 9-5 lead.

"This is the first game all year I've brought the ball downfield, and River Hill just let me go," Schmidt said. "I guess they were surprised."

Stunned was more like it.

Last Thursday, the Hawks had county title aspirations before Mount Hebron humbled them, 14-3.

"The Mount Hebron loss messed with their heads so much that we couldn't get focused today," Hawks coach Jay Bond said. "It took us three quarters to get focused, and you can't wait until the fourth quarter to play lacrosse. Centennial just didn't make as many mental errors as we did."

River Hill's Scott Kenworthy led all scorers with four goals and three assists and gave his teammates an animated tongue-lashing at halftime.

Bond refused to call yesterday's loss an upset.

"We're overachievers. Our program is only 3 years old. Centennial has good coaches, good players and a history. We're still an upstart trying to earn our place in the county," Bond said. "We're disappointed by this loss but not discouraged. We have to get ready for our last two games and the playoffs."

Centennial has excelled at close games, winning three by one goal and two by two goals.

Said Centennial coach Mike Siegert: "We do just enough to win."

Pub Date: 5/05/99

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