There were only two Howard County boys soccer teams in action Thursday night, but both of them — Hammond and Centennial — opened this year’s playoffs with shutout victories.
Hammond, playing on the road against McDonough, secured a 3-0 victory, while Centennial cruised past visiting City, 5-0. Both teams advance into the regional quarterfinal round, which is scheduled for next Tuesday.
For Hammond, the three goals produced by the offense was a season high. The Golden Bears got scores from Jake Fenicle, Nathan Borowski and Alex Gladstone.
Defensively, the team played tremendously as well — securing a shutout for the second time this year. Hammond now advances into a match-up on the road against four-time defending state-champion Marriotts Ridge.
Centennial had an offensive explosion of its own, with five different guys scoring in the victory over City. Tommy Wang got things started just under 15 minutes in off a feed from Michael Merkey. Later, with 8:50 left in the opening half, Max Dwyer scored off a bicycle kick from Heston Priestley.
Andrew Gavlin, Will Vea and Anthony Chiu all got into the scoring column as well in the second half. Dwyer assisted on Gavlin’s goal.
Centennial will face Mt. Hebron in the next round.