Ask Centennial girls soccer coach Mike Senisi to mention a few of his top players, and he hems and haws.
"We have 21 players and a name Centennial," Senisi said. "That's the way I look at it."
And that's the way Senisi likes it.
Centennial is 6-2 overall and, at 3-0, one of three unbeaten teams in the county along with River Hill and Glenelg. The 10th-ranked Eagles have won back to back one-goal games against Hammond and Long Reach, and will be tested again tomorrow when they visit 13th-ranked Mount Hebron.
"They've got some good players, it's just a matter of which team comes out ready to play," said Senisi about tomorrow's game. "It's going to be competitive. We're looking forward to it."
Centennial has one of the county's top goalies in junior Erica Niemann, and has gotten strong performances from sophomores Samantha Test and Julie Richter up top and from senior Alison Woods and junior Caitlin Jenkins in the middle.
"We have a good team," Senisi said. "The chemistry has been great, the kids are working hard and we're learning every day."
Mount Hebron (5-2-1, 2-1) rebounded from its shutout loss at Long Reach with a 2-1 home win Tuesday over 12th-ranked Hammond (5-2, 1-2).
In the physically-played contest, Hammond's Melissa Workman drew a red card midway through the first half, leaving the Golden Bears a player down the rest of the game. Mount Hebron coach Jonathan Davis received two yellow cards (equaling a red card), the second with 11 minutes remaining, and watched the rest of the game from the stands. And near the end of the game, Hammond sweeper Sarah Walker and goalie Tara Zammichieli collided, and both suffered knee injuries. Walker was taken to the hospital by ambulance, where X-rays of her left knee were negative. Hammond coach Peter Di Marco said Walker, whose knee was swollen, had an MRI examination yesterday. Zammichieli will sit out today's game against Fallston, giving Missy Peltzman the start.
Workman, whose goal gave Hammond a 1-0 lead early against Mount Hebron, must sit out today's game against Fallston. Davis will coach the Vikings tomorrow against Centennial.
Julie Broden tied the game for Mount Hebron in the second half, then Julie Napolitano scored the game-winner with about five minutes left.
"This was a game that we played with passion," said Davis. "They wanted to play hard."
Mount Hebron senior Katie Elliott, the county's top scorer last season, played sweeper for some of the game to shore up the Vikings' defense. Mount Hebron's starting sweeper, Melissa McCarthy, has been out three games with a knee injury.
Top-ranked River Hill and second-ranked Centennial showed well in last Saturday's Bulldog Tournament at North Caroline. The Hawks advanced to the semifinals, and the Eagles, who have gone to a 5-1 formation with Vanessa Neuworth at setter, lost to Northern in the championship.
Glenelg (6-2 overall, 3-0 league) plays at River Hill (4-3-1, 3-0-1) tomorrow, and Gladiators coach Ginger Kincaid said her team is prepared.
"They've got some confidence and some wins behind them," Kincaid said. "They're ready to go."
With only three seniors on the team, Glenelg has benefitted from a schedule that as given the younger players a chance grow and have success.
"We've been allowed to mature, and going into the rest of the season we'll be equal to the task," said Kincaid, whose club has county wins over Oakland Mills, Atholton and Howard, all second-tier teams. "I don't think lack of experience will be a problem."