Second-ranked Centennial gave sixth-ranked Glenelg a lesson in mental discipline, as well as a physical beating, during its 4-1 boys soccer victory yesterday.
The final league game had no playoff ramifications, since both teams already have won the home-field advantage in their respective regions.
But Class 2A Glenelg (9-2-1, 4-2-1) had never beaten Class 3A Centennial (10-0-2, 6-0-1). And, by beating the Eagles yesterday, Glenelg could have claimed a share of its first county title.
"The pressure got to my players," Glenelg coach John Bouman said. "[A lack of] mental discipline beat us."
Both of Centennial's first-half goals came on mental mistakes by Glenelg sweeper Keever Frye. And the second mistake couldn't have come at a worse time -- in the final seconds of the half.
Centennial took a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute, when Frye and two teammates failed to clear the ball. Centennial's Doug Ulman drove past Frye and went one-on-one with Glenelg goalkeeper Russell Payne at the 18-yard line. Ulman scored. Glenelg rallied in the 38th minute, as Scott Cline's header tied it 1-1.
With less than a minute left in the first half, however, Frye again tried to turn the ball upfield instead of kicking it out-of-bounds. Again he failed. Centennial striker Brian West drove past Frye and made a goal from 25 yards out.
"All you want to do in that situation is boot the ball as far as you can," Bouman said. "That's one of the worst times to get scored on."
West, a freshman, seemed to feel no pressure, because he also scored Centennial's fourth goal -- his sixth of the season.
Sophomore striker Brad Terrill scored that third goal in the 54th minute off a scramble in front of the net. West's final goal came in the 68th minute on a follow-up shot that glanced off goalkeeper Payne's body and into the net.
Glenelg's defense had allowed only seven goals prior to yesterday, and had not been scored on at home.
Glenelg lost more than just the game. It lost midfield Cline, the team's leading scorer.
Cline was disqualified by an official from participating in Wednesday's regional semifinal because of remarks Cline made while walking off the field after a pushing incident.