With 13 minutes left in the opening half, Centennial coach Gail Purcell took advantage of a Hammond timeout to let her players know exactly how she felt they were playing.
Purcell's message was stem and to the point.
"Ms. Purcell was pretty disappointed," said Eagles senior sweeper Laura Gaudio. "She didn't feel like we were playing up to our potential."
The 12th-ranked Eagles responded with a stronger second half and downed the 14th-ranked Bears, 2-0, in a Howard County league game at Centennial High School.
"We weren't really playing up to our ability in the first half," said Centennial senior forward Eva Armanas, whose fifth goal of the season with 13:59 left in the second half accounted for the final margin. "We've got the skills and we have speed, but sometimes we don't stay as intense and as focused as we should.
"But in the second half we picked it up. We were more intense, we moved to the ball better and made thoughtful passes."
Hammond (4-3 overall, 1-1 league), which lost to the Eagles in overtime, 3-2, 11 days ago in the Centennial Tournament, never got untracked.
"We were lacking intensity," said Hammond coach Gay Petrlik. "We didn't go hard to the ball."
Said Hammond senior defender Lindsey Greer: "They were beating us to the ball all over the field. We know we're a much better team than how we played. We have to step it up and play as we know we can."
Laura Angle's breakaway goal, her fifth of the season, gave Centennial (4-1, 2-0) the lead 10 minutes into the opening half. The Eagles controlled much of the first half and had six corners to Hammond's one.
Hammond goalie Amy Burke made nine saves and kept her team in the game. Centennial's Gaudio, a three-year starter, was solid game in the back and stopped a couple shots in front of the goal.