Backups step to front, give Centennial a 2-0 victory

Jaynathan, Oates make most of time vs. Oak. Mills

Boys soccer

October 24, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

With no county title at stake and playoff positions decided the night before, yesterday's boys soccer game between Oakland Mills and Centennial lacked much meaning for many of the players.

But for a couple of Centennial sophomores, sweeper Stephen Jaynathan and striker Ryan Oates, it meant a chance to start. And both players made the most of it, leading the No. 9-ranked Eagles to a 2-0 victory over the host Scorpions.

Jaynathan had played a total of 45 minutes all season as a backup to Matt Hashimoto, who sat out yesterday with a slight muscle pull. Jaynathan played all 80 minutes against the Scorpions.

Oates has seen increasing playing time throughout the season. His speed, ball skills and ability to score make him a thorn in Oakland Mills' side.

"The sophomores were my two most consistent players today," Centennial coach Jim Zehe said. "Oates has great composure for someone his age and has been a huge factor in our success."

Oates created Centennial's first goal by dribbling past two defenders and dropping off a nice pass to Greg Long, whose kick bounced off the far post and into an open goal.

Long, nursing an injured ankle, played only 15 minutes, and just entered the game before he scored the game-winner with 30:13 left to play.

Andrew Marshall scored Centennial's second goal with 6:17 to play, scooting past a charging goalkeeper and kicking the ball inside the far post for his second goal this season.

The Eagles (9-3 overall, 7-2 league), upset by Howard in the playoffs last season, open the Class 2A West Regional by playing host to Middletown on Tuesday.

Centennial, seeded fourth in the region, is in the same bracket with county opponents Glenelg and Howard. The Eagles lost to Glenelg earlier, and are eager to face the top-seeded Gladiators again.

"I don't think we should have lost that game," Long said. "Glenelg scored on two set plays, and beat us in double overtime."

Glenelg crushed Long Reach yesterday, 5-0, on goals by Josh Burford, Dan Ennis, Conor Nixon, Seth Michael and Chris Glacken.

The No. 7-ranked Gladiators (10-2-1, 6-2-1) finished tied for third place in the county with Mount Hebron, and open their playoffs against the winner of Friday's Walkersville-Howard game

River Hill and Oakland Mills joined Glenelg as No. 1 seeds in their respective regions, the 3A East and 1A South.

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