Centennial in perfect position



That's what Centennial's girls varsity soccer team was last season.

We're talking 18-0. County, regional and state 3A-4A champs. The Eagles shut out six of seven county opponents, and, against all teams, never trailed in a game.

"We were fortunate last year. Everything worked out well for us," said Dave Greenberg, who along with Kevin Flynn coaches the Eagles. "It's tough for that to happen two years in a row. You not only have to be good, you have to be fortunate. You always aren't."

But Centennial is good. Very good. Can it lose a game? Sure. Let's not forget that two of the Eagles' wins last year were 1-0 overtime victories over Wilde Lake and Oakland Mills.

And in Howard County a few teams -- Oakland Mills, Wilde Lake, Glenelg and Howard -- look strong enough to give the Eagles problems.

Still, Centennial has the talent to repeat.

"We have the potential to do the same," said Flynn. "We're good enough to win the state title. We need to find the same hunger that we had last year. That's what worried me in the preseason."

Another preseason concern of Flynn's was that because of various reasons the team often had players missing practice.

Two players on the team, sisters Regina and Kristen Dinisio, a senior and sophomore, respectively, lost their mother, Debbie, earlier this month to cancer.

"We want to do something in her memory," Greenberg said. "We'll wear black arm bands or something. Everyone is going to miss her. She was an important part of the school and community."

Centennial graduated its only senior starter, second-team All-Metro Shara Boonshaft, who led the squad in assists with 14.

Three starting underclassmen -- Jen Coulson, Sara Bartholomew and Katie Garrity -- all moved to Texas. Coulson had nine goals and seven assists as a freshman and Bartholomew five goals and four assists as a sophomore. Both were second-team All-County selections.

Losing those players hurt, but the pain is short-lived.

Centennial, winners of three state titles in four years, has four first-team All-County players returning, including three first-team All-Metro players -- Lauren Molinaro, forward Michelle Clare and defender Tania Riismandel. Goalie Rima Sidhu also made first-team All-County.

Clare, a senior, led the team with 22 goals and eight assists. Molinaro, the county Player of the Year last year as a sophomore, had 12 goals and six assists.

But the success of Centennial's season might hinge on its freshmen.

"We think they can contribute in a significant way," Greenberg said. "They have to."

So say hello to the four Centennial freshmen: midfielder Alexia Vogler, halfback Amanda Zachman, forward Jane Williams and fullback Stacie Tokasz.

"They all may start," Flynn said. "Certainly they will see significant playing time."

Flynn said it didn't bother him that he may have four freshmen on the field at one time.

"I like to use the best player, regardless," he said. "It's kind of exciting because we didn't know they were coming. It was a pleasant surprise. Most of the impact players in the county have played as freshmen. It's not unusual here."

And Flynn looks forward to having them for many years to come. "As long as they don't move," he said, half-jokingly, half-seriously. "The future can change real quickly."

"I think we'll do pretty well," Molinaro said. "By the end of the season, we should be able to reach where we were last year."


"I think it's definitely possible," she said.

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