Dulaney takes down No. 2 Centennial, 2-1

Strong defense sends No. 9 Lions to 9th win

Boys soccer

High Schools

October 11, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Host Dulaney won a rare crossover game between Baltimore County and Howard County boys soccer powers yesterday as it beat Centennial, 2-1.

The No. 9-ranked Lions went to the goal stronger than No. 2 Centennial, creating many more dangerous scoring chances than the visiting Eagles. And the Lions' defense proved more effective, especially in the air.

"We beat a very good team," Dulaney coach Steve Shaw said. "Centennial is very athletic, as well as technically sound. This win does a lot for our program because we have only four senior starters, and we scored only nine goals in our first eight games. We're finally going to goal now."

This was Dulaney's second victory over a ranked team this season.

"Dulaney plays good team defense," Eagles coach Jim Zehe said. "I was concerned we'd be down after our loss [2-1 in double overtime] to Glenelg the day before, but we played hard the whole second half. We're controlling the ball nicely, but we're not turning it into quality scoring chances. And we still have a problem in the air in back."

Dulaney (9-2-1), scored its first goal on a header by forward Tyler Hagin off a cross from James Russo in the 45th minute. Centennial freshman goalkeeper Andy Wilhelm came to the shooter too late, and Hagin's soft header went over Wilhelm and landed gently in the goal inside the right post.

Centennial (6-2) rallied in the 58th minute on Greg Long's 30-yard, left-footed blast from the right side. The ball hit the far post before bouncing in.

"I think our determination and our defense's ability to lock them up won it for us," Hagin said. "We've been looking forward to this game all week."

Sophomore Justin Hartzell scored the game-winning goal with 11:55 to play off a low corner kick by midfielder Sean Rush.

"I trapped it at the near post," Hartzell said. "Their goalkeeper went for a diving catch, but I stepped in front of him and just kicked it in."

Lions goalkeeper Nick Warner, sweeper Danny Keppeler, left fullback Mike Obringer, right fullback Chris Keppeler and stopper Eric Belt kept the Eagles from converting on long balls to the corners in the second half and on long balls down the middle in the first half.

"Their keeper was outstanding and left no doubt," Zehe said.

The Lions have eight shutouts, and only the outstanding shot by Long prevented another one.

"Goalkeeping definitely has been one of the keys for us," Shaw said. "But our two up front [Hagin and Russo] were effective at winning 50-50 balls today. And our central midfield and defense stepped to the ball well after a tentative first 15 minutes."

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