Centennial won its first regional championship since 1994 by defeating arch-rival Mount Hebron yesterday, 10-9.
The No. 14-ranked Eagles took the Class 1A-2A title in an intense game that was not decided until a desperation shot by Mount Hebron's Kyle Campbell (five goals, two assists) in the waning seconds was off the mark.
The Eagles will play Baltimore County's Hereford Friday night at Howard High in a state semifinal.
The win was Centennial's 13th straight following a season-opening loss to Annapolis. It was achieved with a stalwart second-half defensive effort that saw the Eagles (13-1) hold visiting Mount Hebron to two goals.
"We tried to shut down Bryan Warner and Kyle Campbell, but we weren't getting the second slide in the first half, and Campbell hurt us," said Centennial's P.J. Paolisso, who led the Eagles with four goals.
Campbell, an All-American headed to Loyola, scored four goals and had an assist in the first half, when the Vikings rallied from a 7-4 deficit to tie at halftime, 7-7.
Campbell scored twice in the first half's final two minutes -- the second goal with 14 seconds left.
A second-half defensive switch that pitted Drew Enstice against Campbell was effective. Enstice held Campbell to one goal and one assist in the second half.
"He's hard to handle. We tried not to let him get the ball, but he did," said Enstice.
This was Centennial's second victory over Mount Hebron this spring but was much more competitive than an earlier 17-11 decision.
"We thought it would be closer than the last time. It's great to beat them two in a row. I can't believe we did it. It was way too close," Paolisso said. "Mount Hebron played much better at midfield this time."
Ben Ryan scored the Eagles' game-winner with 7: 59 left to play off an assist by Justin Vettori. It put the Eagles ahead, 10-8.
Mount Hebron (9-6) followed with two pipe shots at 6: 00 and 4: 44 before Matt Midura scored off Campbell's feed at 3: 26.
The Vikings won the ensuing faceoff, but Centennial goalkeeper Mike Schmidt (10 saves) stopped Campbell's shot.
With 30 seconds left, the game appeared to be over when Centennial went a man up. But a delay of game penalty gave the ball back to Mount Hebron, and following a timeout, Campbell split an inbounds double team with six seconds left to fire off a final shot.
Pub Date: 5/14/98