Tigers blow past Warriors in resounding shutout victory

Apr. 12—Box Score

At Centralia


Rochester 0 0 — 0

Centralia 3 2 — 5

Scoring Summary

CEN (24') — Alan Vasquez

CEN (34') — Simba Osman

CEN (38') — Samuel Carpio

CEN (42') — Carpio

CEN (71') — Gabriel Cruz

In the days leading up to Centralia's matchup with Rochester, Centralia coach Noel Vazquez had a simple message for his team.

"Make a statement," Vazquez said. "Show up to a game, and put a bunch of goals in the net."

The Tigers did just that on Friday night at Tiger Stadium, as they dismantled the Rochester defense en route to a 5-0 victory, their fourth in a row.

It's the Tigers' (6-4, 5-3 2A EvCo) biggest margin of victory of the season, and the win catapults them into the top-3 of the EvCo Standings. They sit just one game behind Tumwater for second and two back of W.F. West for first.

It's the first time that the Tigers have won four league games in a row since 2018.

"They started playing with confidence at the beginning of spring break," Vazquez said. "I don't see why we can't continue climbing and competing the way we did today."

Centralia put its best foot forward on Friday, taking over 15 minutes in and never looking back.

Rochester (5-6, 5-4 2A EvCo) was able to get the first real chance on net, as Aiden Villaneuva laced a shot towards the top-left corner from the corner of the penalty area, but Centralia keeper Alejandro Arevalo was able to push it high.

"I don't think we talk enough about Alejandro in goal," Vazquez said. "He's been very impactful, and he makes big time saves ... It's a big confidence boost for the guys."

That save shifted the momentum to the Centralia side, and the Tigers began connecting on passes in the midfield and working into the Rochester penalty area.

"The first 15, 20 minutes of the game, we played well," Rochester coach Matt Ashton said. "Things just kind of got out of control ... Unfortunately, it just wasn't our night."

Vazquez said that after Rochester's initial push, he made substitutions and quickly spoke with the starters about adjustments. From there, the Tigers made the changes on the pitch, and the goals came fast and furious.

In the 24th minute, the Tigers drew a foul just past the edge of the penalty area. With the sun shining towards the Rochester net, the Warriors struggled to see the ball off the foot of Alan Vasquez, and his free kick attempt found the back of the net.

Ten minutes later, from nearly the exact same spot, Simba Osman took advantage of the space in front of him and lined a shot into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.

Osman's goal was Centralia's first of three in a span of eight game minutes, as Samuel Carpio scored in the 38th and 42nd minute to double the advantage. Freshman Gabriel Cruz rounded out the night with a goal of his own in the 71st minute, and he just missed another minutes later.

"The second half was just beautiful to watch," Vazquez said.

Arevalo finished with four saves in net, including a second leaping save in the first half. Vazquez joked that since Arevalo has started wearing shorts instead of pants, he's been on another level.

"Shorts Alejandro is a different animal," Vazquez said while laughing.

The loss puts the Warriors in fourth place in the EvCo standings, two games ahead of fifth-place Aberdeen in the win column.

Ashton was disappointed that the Warriors didn't have their best effort in what he said was the most important game of the season to this point, but he also knows that they have what it takes to get back into the top-3 in time for the postseason.

A fourth-place finish would put Rochester into the pigtail play-in in the district tournament.

"There's no reason we can't get back up," Ashton said. "But it's gonna be a tough task now."

Rochester won't have to wait long for the chance to bounce back, as they'll head to 3A Kelso on Saturday before resuming league play

Centralia will look to push its league winning streak to five, and continue its climb in the standings, on Tuesday at Shelton.

"We don't have a standout player, we have a standout team," Vazquez said. "We're just going to keep trying and build on everybody."