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High-scoring offense leads Centennial boys past Oakland Mills | Howard County soccer roundup

During the preseason, Centennial coach Justin Thomas said he fully expected his offense to be the team’s backbone, capable of carrying the load on any given night.

Through two games, the Eagles’ have more than lived up to the hype.

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Centennial found the net three times Tuesday night, giving the team seven goals on the young season, to help hold off visiting Oakland Mills, 3-2. Bryson Baker and Kevin Salazar each registered a goal and an assist, while Cameron Grable accounted for the other score, as the Eagles improved to 2-0.

“The crazy thing is I still think there is a good bit of room for improvement, but to get seven goals against these two teams — Oakland Mills tonight and Glenelg the other night — has been a great start,” Thomas said. “I’m very happy with the attacking side of the ball.”

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Baker, a senior captain who also had a goal in the team’s 4-2 victory over Glenelg on opening night, said the number of weapons at the team’s disposal this season is scary.

“Going into the season, based on what we brought back, it was pretty obvious the firepower we had. And I think we take a lot of pride in our offense,” Baker said. “We have confidence in ourselves and we feel like anybody on that field is a threat to score.”

Getting the win Tuesday, however, took every bit of that offensive firepower.

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Oakland Mills, which dropped to 0-2, was in the game until the very end thanks to 11 saves from goalie Daniel Miranda and the dangerous long throws from Taylor Nelson. The Scorpions’ first goal was scored by Truce Norton off a Nelson throw and then the second score came when another Nelson toss bounced off a Howard defender into the net.

Coach Troy Stevenson said he was proud of his team’s ability to hang in until the final minutes, but he also pointed out a shootout isn’t what the Scorpions are built for.

“That’s a high-scoring team over there, they are going to score a lot of goals against a lot of teams, but we aren’t constructed in a way that we can try and outscore teams. We need to win 2-1 or 1-0,” he said. “That’s not to say we can’t score goals, especially with the weapon Taylor gives us with his ability to get the ball into the box. But asking for three or four goals on a given night … it’s just not who we are.”

Centennial got on the board first with 27:48 left in the opening half, as Grable hit a cross from the left wing that went off a defender’s head and into the back of the net. Just over four minutes later, Baker upped that advantage to two as he finished in transition off a feed from Salazar.

The Eagles looked poise to increase that advantage even further, but Miranda made several acrobatic saves in the middle stages of the first half.

“He’s definitely going to keep us in every one of our games. He’s a game-changer back there … but that doesn’t mean we can just leave him on an island,” Stevenson said. “Two of the three goals we gave up today, he simply had no chance.”

Oakland Mills took advantage of Miranda’s strong play just before halftime, as Norton finished the feed from Nelson with 2:30 showing on the clock.

Centennial, however, never let the momentum fully swing into the Scorpions’ favor all evening. Midway through the second half, Baker tracked down a through ball in transition and touched it to a streaking Salazar for what ended up being the decisive goal.

“We buckle but we don’t break, and this group is great about really knowing when to turn it on,” Thomas said. “I think a lot of it has to do with the great leadership we have on the field. They are able to calm things down, and when the going gets tough, that’s when they stand up.”

Oakland Mills managed to again trim its deficit to one, just over a minute after Salazar’s goal when Nelson had his long throw deflected into the net, but that’s as close as the Scorpions would get.

While the fast start is encouraging, Baker said he and the Eagles are thinking big picture. The program has not won a county title since 1996, and he thinks the team has the pieces this season to make a run at this year’s crown.

“We know that we have the talent to make a championship run, and it’s been a long time since Centennial has won one. So yeah, what better way to go out as a senior then to be part of the team that breaks through,” Baker said.

Centennial 3, Oakland Mills 2

Goals: C — Baker, Grable, Salazar; OM — Nelson, Norton

Assists: C — Baker, Salazar; OM — Nelson

Saves: C — Gerrity 2; OM — Miranda 11

Halftime: 2-1 C

BOYS SOCCER:

River Hill 3, Hammond 1

The Hawks bounced back from their season-opening loss to Reservoir last week with a dominant win over Hammond (1-1). River Hill (1-1) scored three first-half goals to go up 3-0 at halftime. The Hawks got off to a quick start with Jed Dixon scoring on a header from a Antonia Pauloni corner kick in the 20th minute. Two minutes later, Jonah Stoutenborough scored on a penalty kick. About 10 minutes later, Milan Gupta capitalized on another penalty kick.

Box score:

Goals: RH — Jed Dixon, Jonah Stoutenborough, Milan Gupta; Ha — Brandon Sindjui

Assists: RH — Antonia Paulinho; Ha — Diego Carino

Saves: RH — Eric Gesell 6; Ha — Whalid KhoKhar 4

Halftime: 3-0

Marriotts Ridge 3 Howard 2

Three different Marriotts Ridge players scored in the first half to lead the Mustangs to their first win of the season. Marriotts Ridge (1-1) led 3-2 at half following goals by Misha Ott, Erik Valdesuso and Kaden Bryan. Bryan also registered an assist in the victory. Howard (1-1) was led by goals from Ryan Hartlove and Robby Ryerson.

Box score:

Goals: MR — Misha Ott, Erik Valdesuso, Kaden Bryan; Ho — Robby Ryerson, Ryan Hartlove

Assists: MR — Bryan, Cody Blessing; Ho — Braden Bevels

Saves: MR — Zach Sloan 4; Ho — Ryerson 3, Banga 3

Halftime: 3-2, MR

Reservoir 1, Long Reach 0

Nathan Macek headed in a corner kick by Aidan Atang 15 minutes into the first half for the game’s only goal, helping the Gators improve to 2-0 on the season. Long Reach (1-1) had a great chance to tie the game early in the second half, but Reservoir goalie Quinn Dean (2 saves) — who was in replacing injured starter Danny Ventura (1 save) — made a huge stop to maintain the lead.

Atholton 3, Wilde Lake 1

Josh Martin scored twice, including once on a free kick, and Michael Kodsi added a goal as well to help the Raiders (1-1) earn the victory. Jonathan Rogers registered an assist in the winning effort. Wilde Lake dropped to 0-2.

Mt. Hebron 5, Glenelg 0

Five different players scored for the Vikings, as the team improved to 2-0.

Goals: MH — Demek, Linsenmeyer, Reyes, Taylor, Wool-Lewis

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Assists: MH — Likakis 2, Demek, Hollander, Rahman

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GIRLS SOCCER:

Reservoir 3, Long Reach 1

The Gators improved to 2-0 behind second-half goals from three different players — Avery Oergel, Karis Turner and Kat Parris. Turner’s goal was her second of the young season, as she scored the Gators’ first goal in their 2-1 win over River Hill last week. Parris’ goal, meanwhile, was her first this season. She scored nine goals last season when she was named the county’s Player of the Year. Long Reach (0-1-1) was able to shut out the Gators in the first half, and senior goalkeeper Kailey Leibe recorded 12 saves.

Box score:

Goals: Re — Avery Oergel, Karis Turner, Kat Parris; LR — Aleena Harrington

Assists: Re — Parris, Margot Laughner

Saves: Re — Lizzie Dudzinski 5; LR — Kailey Leibe 12

Halftime: 0-0

Wilde Lake 3, Atholton 2

The win is the first for Wildecats head coach Kristyn Neubauer. Wilde Lake (1-0-1) was led by Aicha Wilson and Gia Johnson, both of whom recorded a goal and an assist. Gabi Olibris scored the Wildecats’ other goal, while Jillian Ingram also recorded an assist. Wilde Lake’s Hannah Lowry tallied 13 saves in goal. Atholton (1-1) was led by goals from Catherine Cole and Sarah Saula.

Box score:

Goals: WL — Aicha Wilson, Gia Johnson, Gabi Olibris; A — Catherine Cole, Sarah Saula

Assists: WL - Johnson, Wilson, Jillian Ingram; A Allison Lubitz, Alyssa Clearfield

Saves: WL - Hannah Lowry 13; A — Sam Roerty 12

Halftime: 1-1

River Hill 2, Hammond 0

The Hawks bounced back from their season-opening loss to Reservoir last week with a shutout triumph over Hammond (0-2). Two second-half goals by freshman midfielder Zareen Mathew led River Hill (1-1) to victory. Junior midfielder Alyssa Barker and senior midfielder Grace Turney both had assists. The Hawks’ defense was stout throughout, allowing only one shot on goal.

Box score:

Goals: RH — Zareen Mathew 2

Assists: RH — Alyssa Barker, Grace Turney

Goals: RH — Caroline Duffy 1; Ha — Caroline Schreier 5, Brooke Kohlheim 5

Halftime: 0-0

Marriotts Ridge 2, Howard 1

Megan Wagner scored the game-winning goal early in the second half to give the Mustangs the victory over the Lions. Wagner, a senior, scored off a direct kick from 24 yards out in the 46th minute. Howard (1-1) drew first blood with a goal from senior midfielder Danielle Campbell, who collected a loose ball just outside the top of the box and scored with a strong right-footed shot. Marriotts Ridge (2-0) then answered back with a goal from Gabriella Roberts off a pass from Mollie Anderson. The Lions had an opportunity to tie the game in the final minute, but a shot off a direct kick couldn’t find the back of the net.

Box score:

Goals: MR — Gabriella Roberts, Megan Wagner; Ho — Danielle Campbell

Assists: MR — Mollie Anderson; Ho — Julia Croft

Saves: MR — Caroline Albert 8; Ho — Caroline Otchet 5, Kati Hertz 6

Halftime: 1-1

Mt. Hebron 1, Glenelg 0

The Vikings got in the win column for the first time on the young season with the triumph over Glenelg (1-1). Riley Benson’s first-half goal, off a pass from McKenna Bishop, led Mt. Hebron (1-1) to the tight victory. The Vikes’ defense was stout, allowing only two shots on goal against goalkeeper Eliana Klein. The Gladiators were led by goalie Kendall Castor, who recorded eight saves.

Box score:

Goals: MH — Riley Benson

Assists: MH — McKenna Bishop

Saves: MH — Eliana Klein 2; G — Kendall Castor 8

Halftime: 1-0, MH

Centennial 2, Oakland Mills 0

The Eagles won their first game of the young season thanks to goals from Callie LasCasas and Lauren Pellegrini. Centennial is 1-1; Oakland Mills is 0-2.

Goals: C — Callie LasCasas, Lauren Pellegrini

Saves: C — Rebecca Bianchini 2, Olivia Jackson 2; OM — N/A

Don’t see scores or stats from your favorite team? Send results and any game information to Brent Kennedy at bkennedy@baltsun.com and Jacob Meyer at jameyer@baltsun.com.

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