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Wilde Lake provides test, but Centennial prevails Top-ranked Eagles win 23rd straight game


Top-ranked Centennial won its 23rd straight game yesterday, but No. 11 Wilde Lake earned some respect.

Brian West (nine goals, 10 assists) scored a goal and had an assist to lead Centennial (9-0 overall, 4-0 league) to a 2-0 victory.

It was Centennial's seventh shutout. It has outscored the opposition, 30-3. The Eagles are ranked No. 10 in the country by USA Today.

West's goal came in the fourth minute from 15 yards out off a cross into the middle from Cory Piette (four goals, five assists).

Then Matt Laycock (seven goals, two assists), from 15 yards out, headed in West's long throw-in in the 69th minute for the second goal.

"Wilde Lake played well," Centennial coach Bill Stara said. "Dave [Nesbitt] did a nice coaching job. He cluttered the midfield and we didn't always adjust well. We did not always make the best mental decisions in the second half."

The Eagles could have put the game away several times in the first half.

When the Eagles adjusted to the clogged midfield by kicking the ball wide, they broke free for several one-on-ones.

However, West, Piette and Matt Stephenson each came away empty on makeable shots in that first half. Stephenson had an open net once.

Wilde Lake (4-3-2, 1-2-1) lost one of its best defenders, Lars Berg, early in the game after he sprained an ankle.

"That hurt a lot," Nesbitt said. "But our kids played pretty well, particularly after giving up a goal so early."

"I thought David Briefel played well in the middle for us. Our goalkeeper [Nick Parypinski] played well. So did Solee Saah up top, and Naak Ewool-Robotham did a nice job guarding West," Nesbitt said.

"I really thought we could tie them. They have too much talent to beat them. We missed two clear shots, and if one goes in, it could have been a different game."

Wilde Lake was outshot 12-5 in the first half when Centennial dominated the action. But in the second half, Wilde Lake attacked better and had one shot that bounced off the crossbar.

"We didn't do the same things in the second half that worked to get us shots in the first half," Stara said. "We had found their vulnerability, but because we didn't capitalize, the kids didn't see it as successful and started doing some different things in the second half."

Ewool-Robotham, who transferred to Wilde Lake from Atholton about two weeks ago, was a little awed marking West for the first time, but played him aggressively.

"Coach Nesbitt told me not to stay too tight on him because when you do he goes right around you," Ewool-Robotham said. "He's a great player."

Stara praised his goalkeeper, Christian Lewis, who made seven saves.

"It seems like a small thing, but not many goalkeepers can kick like he did today with either foot," Stara said.

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