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Centennial rebounds, 3-1, against Atholton


Centennial field hockey coach Gail Purcell has seen better efforts from her Eagles, but she recognized the bottom line after yesterday's 3-1 victory at Atholton.

Coming off an emotional 4-1 victory over Mount Hebron on Monday, Centennial started slowly by falling behind the upstart Raiders early in the game. And the Eagles at times lacked the crisp passing and all-out hustle that are usually the trademarks of the team. Even so, Centennial (6-1, 2-0) put together a three-goal rally to win its fourth straight.

"I wasn't overly impressed," Purcell said. "They played out of their heads [against Hebron], but we never really got in the game today."

And the Eagles don't look to one or two sparks. Their scoring threats are everywhere. Yesterday, Amber Saunders, Caroline Kendrick and Chantal Loomis provided the offense, after Carey Long had given Atholton a 1-0 lead with 18 minutes left in the first half.

On Monday, four different Eagles scored against Hebron. Five players have scored at least two goals this season for Centennial.

"Defense is usually our forte," added Purcell, who said she hasn't coached a Centennial team with this kind of an attack in 10 years.

The Eagles passed a tough test against Atholton (3-2-1, 0-1), which has made considerable strides under fourth-year coach Carol Stevens.

Atholton didn't go quietly. In the final 10 minutes, the Raiders earned two of their six penalty corners -- the Eagles only had two penalty corners -- and made Centennial goalie Lisa Stichler produce four of her seven saves.

Each team had seven shots.

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