Third-ranked Centennial pins 3-1 loss on Atholton

Eagles clinch second place in Howard County league

Girls soccer

October 23, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

If they can beat Fort Hill in the first round of the Class 2A West regionals on Monday, the Atholton girls soccer team will get another shot at No. 3 Centennial. And Raiders coach Nancy Shea now knows what to expect.

Shea said the Raiders would have to play a near-perfect game to beat the Eagles, and they were unable to do so yesterday.

The host Eagles capitalized on Atholton's defensive errors and put forth a steady defensive effort to notch a 3-1 victory yesterday, ending the Raiders' six-game winning streak in both teams' regular-season finale.

With the win, Centennial (11-1-2, 8-1), which was seeded second in the region and has a first-round bye, clinched second place in Howard County behind unbeaten River Hill.

"Our game plan was to go the first 10 minutes without letting them score, and then another 10 minutes, but they are a powerful team," said Shea, whose squad fell to 9-5-1, 6-3 and is the seventh seed in the states.

It took the Eagles 13 minutes to get on the board first. Junior midfielder Kate Burdekin sent a ball toward the far post to an onrushing Danielle Rosanova. Sweeper Stacy Grenier stepped in front of Rosanova, but the ball deflected off Grenier's leg and into the net, a blemish on what was an otherwise solid effort from the Raiders junior.

"When the first one went in, we had a little momentum because it took them out of their game plan a little," said Centennial coach Mike Senisi.

Shea blamed herself for Centennial's second goal, which came 15 minutes after halftime. With a throw-in deep in the Raiders' end, Shea subbed in three defenders, who never seemed to get set. The result was Beth Foley's throw-in squirting through traffic and finding the right foot of sophomore Mandy Paizs, who converted to make it 2-0.

That was plenty for the Eagles' defense, consisting of outside backs Kelly Renzi and Krissy Kunkel, stopper Beth Wirth, sweeper Rosie Goldberg and goalie Betsy Smith (six saves).

The Raiders, built around their defense to compensate for a lack of offensive firepower, didn't create their first scoring chance until about midway through the second half.

Minutes after Lizzy Newcomb's shot was stopped by Smith, an unmarked Hayley Siegel redirected freshman Lily Boleyn's cross by Atholton goalie E.J. Goldman (nine saves) to make it 3-0.

Atholton answered with a goal by junior Alta Ray, but that's as close as it would get.

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