Words: Kyle Simpson
When the students and faculty at Centennial think of rivalry, they think of Mt. Hebron.
So it is fitting that the Eagles Boys Lacrosse would have to go through their longtime rivals to get to the regional finals. I mean, could it go down any other way? So the Eagles suited up and went to war with Mt. Hebron one more time this year.
The battle got off to a quick start with four Centennial goals from seniors Teddy Sylvia, Ben McHugh, Stephen Latona, and freshman Austin Kraisser. A lone Mt. Hebron goal was also scored going into the final two minutes of the first quarter where Hebron began to close the gap. A man-up goal off of a Centennial slash by Kevin Collins made it 4-2 going into the second quarter. You could feel a shift from the hot start of Centennial’s offense.
The Eagles simply could not catch a break on the faceoffs, and turnovers for the middle half of the game. Hebron would score two quick goals in the start of the second quarter to tie it up at four with seven minutes left, eventually scoring one more time to lead 5-4 going into halftime.
The Vikings would continue to be hot coming out of halftime as well with yet another goal to push them to a two goal advantage. The Mt. Hebron defense throughout most of the third quarter until four minutes and thirty seconds remained on the clock, thanks to a well placed stick-check by CJ Marquart, the Eagles offense had woken back up and had the ball on a play that defined the final chapter of the game. Stephen Latona ripped a shot to close the gap back to one goal and give Centennial the momentum back. Latona would score again for the hat trick and the tie at six going into the fourth quarter.
It all came down to this. A final effort to seal victory. Teddy Sylvia scored quickly for the Eagles to take a lead they would never get back. The Eagles made defensive stand after defensive stand to shut down Mt. Hebron. One last goal by freshman Mike Moore would put the game out of reach at 8-6 with a little over two minutes left. And as the clock ticked to zero, the fans went nuts as the team threw their sticks in the air and surrounded their goalie, senior Bryan Ruygrok who had 12 saves on the night.
A fantastic win for a team who fought hard for it.
The Eagles set their focus onto Glenelg, whom they play for the regional title tomorrow night at 7 PM at Glenelg.