Throughout the early part of the season, Centennial soccer coach Mike Senisi has grown increasingly weary about his team's inability to finish its scoring chances.
Yesterday, the Eagles didn't give him a chance to fret.
The No. 5 Eagles converted their first three scoring opportunities en route to a dominating 5-1 victory over No. 11 Fallston yesterday at Centennial.
Sophomore midfielder Hayley Siegel had two goals and two assists, senior midfielder Beth Foley scored twice, and sophomore forward Mandy Paizs contributed a goal and two assists, as Centennial (2-0-1) erased the memory of Friday's 2-2 tie with the Institute of Notre Dame. In that game, the Eagles squandered many scoring chances.
"We didn't come out ready to go, and it was a big wake-up call for us," said Foley, who scored both of her goals in the game's first 15 minutes and then moved back to defense to help preserve the Centennial lead. "We wanted to get it going right away, and that's exactly what we did."
Foley's first goal came just over five minutes into the game, when she beat two Cougars defenders to the middle of the box and hit a left-footed shot past junior goalkeeper Kendie Bauer.
About three minutes later, Siegel controlled a Tess Wallace pass and lifted a 6-yard shot over Bauer's head and into the top netting to make it 2-0. Foley scored again in the 27th minute for a 3-0 halftime lead.
She, Siegel and senior stopper Beth Wirth dominated the midfield.
"Midfield is where games are won and lost, and they were better in the midfield than we were," said Fallston coach Vern Brown, whose team is the defending Harford County champion and played its opener yesterday.
Said Siegel: "I definitely felt that we controlled the whole game."
The Cougars cut Centennial's lead to 3-1 in the 54th minute, when Brianna Yapps scored. But from there, the Eagles' defense, playing without starting sweeper Rosie Goldberg, who was sidelined with knee tendinitis, tightened.
Paizs put home the rebound of a Siegel shot in the 60th minute to make it 4-1, and seven minutes later, Siegel and Paizs worked a give-and-go that ended in the Eagles' fifth goal, scored by Siegel.
"This was the positive reinforcement these girls needed," said Centennial coach Senisi. "It shows that we can score goals."
Senisi asked his players to use the Sept. 11 game as a way of paying tribute to victims of last year's terrorist attacks. In remembrance, each player wrote the name of a victim somewhere on her body.