Centennial's Mike Resau almost didn't play against Bel Air yesterday because of a bad cold. The Bobcats wish he hadn't.
The speedy senior outside midfielder shrugged off the illness to set up two first-half goals and the No. 2 Eagles (4-0-1) beat No. 11 Bel Air (2-2) at Centennial, 3-0.
Centennial's midfield dominated the first half. Resau twice turned the corner down the left side against Bel Air defenders to set up scores.
Ten minutes into the game, Resau beat his man and hit a cross to the far post that unmarked midfielder Doug Ulman knocked in for the first goal.
Six minutes later, Resau was tackled from behind, a play that set up a direct kick just outside the penalty box at the 18-yard line.
Midfielder Chris Arcella sent the direct kick into the net at the near post, as Bel Air goalkeeper Ethan Jennings was caught at the far post and barely moved on the play. Bel Air posted only a two-man wall instead of a normal three-man wall in front of Arcella on the kick.
"It was just a great kick," Jennings said. "I probably could have played it better. Centennial always likes to work the left side, but we didn't do anything to stop them."
Arcella scored his second goal of the game 23 minutes into the second half on another Bel Air defensive error. Arcella broke through a line of Bobcats defenders at the 18-yard line and beat Jennings.
"Arcella has played three straight excellent games for us," Centennial coach Bill Stara said. "And Resau did well attacking today. We moved him [Resau] outside for this game because he can beat players one-on-one."
Bel Air did not play aggressive first-half defense and continually backed off against Arcella and Resau, allowing them to dribble freely.
Bobcats coach Bill Jefferson's first-half strategy was to eat up the clock.
"We were hoping to keep it close at halftime and try to frustrate them, but they were just too good," he said. Bel Air was outshot in the first half, 8-0.
The slow pace also suited Centennial, which was playing its third game in four days.
"We just wanted to survive today," Stara said. "We wanted a slow pace and they obliged us."