Centennial forward Matt Stephenson thought yesterday's 5-0 victory over Oakland Mills was an important test of style for the Eagles.
"Playoffs are coming now and teams will becoming at us in a physical style like Oakland Mills did today," Stephenson said. "And we proved we can play all right against that style. Today skill prevailed."
Top-ranked Centennial (11-0 overall, 6-0 league) won its 25th straight game. The Eagles, ranked No. 10 in the nation by USA Today, have not been beaten in 36 straight league games dating back to 1990. Fourth-ranked Oakland Mills (7-2-1, 3-1-1) was the last league team to beat them.
Stephenson (eight goals, five assists) scored two goals and had an assist, and Cory Piette (seven goals, six assists) scored two goals against an Oakland Mills squad that managed to shut out (( Centennial's leading scorer Brian West.
"They came out tough, but we were able to dribble past one guy and then give it up well," Stephenson said. "We're pretty focused right now. I've seen a lot of games where the more skilled team plays down to the other team's level. That didn't happen today."
Stephenson scored Centennial's second goal in the 29th minute on a header off a corner kick from Cort Yetso. Stephenson scored the third goal on a volley that bounced away from Oakland Mills goalkeeper John Sunderdick.
Piette said: "They gave us a lot of space to turn and look up and pass or shoot."
He scored the game's first goal in the 12th minute on a volley inside the right post off an assist from Scott Johnson. Piette also scored the fourth goal in the 57th minute on a volley from 25 yards out off an assist from Stephenson.
"They [Oakland Mills] made a mistake on our first goal and that took the wind of out their sails," Centennial coach Bill Stara said.
Centennial played its second team for the final 15 minutes and Stu Kessler scored its fifth goal in the 69th minute.
"We came out ready to play," West said. "And Oakland Mills just had an off-day. They weren't as pumped up as I've seen them and gave us gobs of space. Usually they don't let you touch the ball."