The Centennial High School girls soccer team finally got the win it wanted most.
The Stars snapped a 10-game losing streak to Whetstone on Sept. 19 as Gwen Moran scored off an Evelyn Beal assist with about seven minutes left for a 2-1 victory.
"Nobody on this team had ever beaten (Whetstone) before, so we're all really excited," Beal said. "We knew when we rallied to beat Briggs (2-1 on Sept. 14) that we had the ability to do this.
"Those two wins are unifying for this team. We came together and it was super awesome. We gathered at midfield after the (Whetstone) game and celebrated and we saw friends, families and fellow students cheering, clapping and screaming. I can't tell you how much pride we have and how great that feeling was."
Yana Napier scored to give Centennial a 1-0 first-half lead. The Braves tied the game early in the second half.
Goalkeeper Sarah Clifton made 12 saves for the Stars.
"We've had some trouble with chemistry in the past, but when we were forced to rally against Briggs, you could see that teamwork paid off," Beal said. "In the past, when things got tight, we'd always have a few players who wanted to do everything themselves. They were trying too hard to make something happen.
"But we shared the ball and beat Briggs and I could tell there was a shift in our team. We became more unified. We saw the potential we have when we work together."
The Stars blasted International 14-0 on Sept. 21, but fell to unbeaten Jonathan Alder 9-0 on Sept. 23. They are 5-3-1 overall and 4-0 in the City League heading into a game Thursday, Sept. 28, at Briggs.
They close league play Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Whetstone.
"We actually didn't play all that well against Whetstone, but we made enough plays to win," coach Barb Melig said.
"We missed several opportunities, but I think Whetstone would tell you the same thing. They didn't play well and they missed a lot of scoring chances, too."
Against International, Moran scored three goals and Napier, Mariah Velez and Lucy Bednar-Warren all scored twice.
The Stars are likely to play Whetstone in the City championship game Oct. 12 at Mapfre Stadium. Not only are the teams in position to do that, but they have met in all six City finals since the inception of the event.
The Stars won 1-0 in the inaugural game in 2011. But they hadn't beaten the Braves since then, as Whetstone won the next five City finals as part of its 10-game series winning streak.
"I think we have the better team this year, but the Whetstone game just gives us such a mental block," Melig said. "We had to get that out of our head and it takes a win to accomplish that. I'm grateful that the girls got it done. It's such a relief."
Football team seeks
better defensive play
The football team will be looking to shore up its defense when it plays host to East on Friday, Sept. 29.
The game will pit the Tigers' struggling offense against the Stars' struggling defense.
East enters the contest at 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the City-North Division after falling to Beechcroft 41-0 on Sept. 22. The Tigers have not scored more than eight points in any game this season and are averaging 5.4 points per contest.
Centennial is 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the City-North. The Stars, who fell to Lucas 51-28 on Sept. 22, are allowing 42.6 points per game overall and 51.8 per game in their losses.
"Our defense did not play well (against Lucas)," coach Donte Goosby said. "It was a lot of the same issues that have been plaguing us all year -- lack of discipline and physicality up front and poor tackling across the board."
East is led by quarterback Ar'mon Mackey, running back Andres Waderker and receiver Shahqim Edwards. Against East, Mackey was 3-for-8 passing for 43 yards and also rushed for 43 yards on 12 carries. The Tigers had 110 total yards and five first downs.
Edwards has scored three of the Tigers' four touchdowns this season.
"They have a tall receiver (Edwards) who goes about 6-foot-3 and he's pretty solid," said Goosby, whose team beat East 40-6 last season. "They also have a lot of speed. We have to get stops and force turnovers. Offensively, we should be able to score some points. It's going to come down to how many stops we can get."
The Stars trailed Lucas 30-0 before receiver Craig Burt threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to receiver Syquee Womack, but Lucas scored the first 14 points of the second half for a 44-7 lead.
Centennial added touchdown passes from quarterback Jaylen Gilbert to Burt (48 yards) and Marquise Scott (26 yards) and a 4-yard touchdown run by Parker Johnson.
Boys golf team
seeks City title
Myles Martinez shot a career-low 47 at Raymond Memorial on Sept. 21, leading the boys golf team to a 213-230 win over Whetstone.
It was the Braves' first loss of the season.
Chris Sfikas shot a 49 for the Stars.
"It's all coming down to the City tournament (Thursday, Sept. 28, at Airport)," coach Barry Baker said. "It's a tight race between Whetstone, Walnut Ridge and us. We split with Walnut Ridge, but we didn't have Myles that day. Myles and Chris are contending for first-team all-City."
Dhruvin Patel, Ethan Perry and Evan Massey also have been competing for Centennial.
Martinez and Sfikas will represent the Stars in a Division I sectional tournament Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Turnberry. The top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Girls volleyball team
stays in title hunt
The girls volleyball team plays host to International on Thursday, Sept. 28, as it attempts to stay within striking distance of league-leading Whetstone.
The Stars play Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Whetstone, which entered the week 9-0 in the City-North. The Stars lost to the Braves 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 on Sept. 7.
Centennial improved to 10-3 overall and 8-1 in the league by beating Linden-McKinley 25-11, 25-14, 25-16 on Sept. 21. The Stars played a league match Sept. 26 at East.
Below are the coming schedules for the Centennial cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 4 -- Backwoods Two-Mile Fest at Thornville Sheridan
Sept. 28 -- City League tournament at Airport
Oct. 4 -- Division I sectional at Clover Valley
*Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Mifflin
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Whetstone
*Sept. 28 -- At Briggs
Sept. 30 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg
*Oct. 3 -- At Whetstone
*Sept. 28 -- Home vs. International. The Stars beat the Lions 25-5, 25-14, 25-19 on Sept. 5.
*Oct. 3 -- At Whetstone. The Stars lost to the Braves 25-11, 25-13, 25-16 on Sept. 7.