Centennial sent a wake-up call to the Howard County soccer community yesterday as the Ellicott City school's boys and girls teams each knocked off River Hill, ranked No. 1 in both polls by The Post.
The Centennial boys (6-4-1) came from behind to post a 2-1 overtime home victory over the Maryland 2A champions. The Eagles' girls team (8-3) broke a scoreless tie with 12 minutes remaining to defeat the Hawks, 1-0, in Clarksville.
"We're underestimated a lot by a lot of teams," Centennial girls coach Mike Senisi said. "We feel we have a good program here and the kids work hard. Beating River Hill is a great accomplishment."
In the boys game, River Hill (9-1) took the lead in the 61st minute when senior All-Met Adom Crew sent a cross along the ground for senior Brent Tyson to one-time into the net. According to Centennial Coach Jim Zehe, the Eagles did not buckle.
"I was very happy, once being scored on after holding them scoreless for three-quarters of the game, that there was no letdown," he said. "That was impressive."
Randy Van Allen scored the equalizer with six minutes remaining. Then, five minutes into sudden-death overtime, Centennial senior midfielder Phil Kiracofe spotted senior Ryan Myers making a run down the right flank. Kiracofe served the ball toward the penalty area and Myers beat the River Hill goalkeeper to the ball and chipped it in for the game-winner.
Zehe said the victory was a statement. "We had a group at the beginning that believed in their abilities. It doesn't mean that we're better than River Hill, but it shows we deserve to be mentioned along with the other top teams in the county."
The Centennial girls escaped the first half with a scoreless tie, then took the game to River Hill (9-1) after halftime. In the 68th minute, a long ball from the back settled behind the Hawks' defense. Eagles forward Samantha Test collected it and raced 40 yards to score the winner.
Goodman Gets AwardTakoma Academy senior guard Tamir Goodman is one of five recipients of the 1999 Reform Party of Maryland's Outstanding Citizen Reformer Award. Goodman, who is an Orthodox Jew, gained national attention in January when he unofficially committed to play basketball at the University of Maryland and stated his intention not to play on the Sabbath, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. He since has withdrawn his commitment to Maryland and has yet to select a college to attend next year.