Wednesday, October 8, 2003
INDEPENDENCE -- No one really knew what to expect from a young and previously untested Central boys soccer team this season.
But no one expected this.
The 10th-ranked Panthers improved to 8-1-1 overall and 4-0 in District 1 on Oct. 6 with a soggy 5-1 win at Taft. That followed a 3-1 road victory against archrival Philomath on Sept. 30.
The Panthers dominated Taft from start to finish, scoring twice in the game's first 16 minutes and leading 4-0 before the Tigers broke the shutout.
"It was pouring rain," CHS coach Rich Abrams said. "Generally when it pours rain, skill doesn't come into play as much. But we were still able to finish really well, and our defense played an excellent game.
"Usually when the ball is really slippery, it helps level the two teams. But our defense played so well that we really didn't give them much of an opportunity."
Jose Hernandez opened the scoring with a goal at the 11-minute mark. Jeremy Seick picked up the assist.
Hernandez then passed to Ugo Gomez for a goal at the 16-minute mark. The score remained 2-0 until Victor Alvarez scored off an assist from Carlos Martinez early in the second half.
Gomez scored again in the 54th minute off a feed from Logan Yliniemi. Goalkeeper Devin Conklin got some time up front and netted the Panthers' final goal at the 75-minute mark.
Goal scorers for Central against Philomath were Gomez, Hernandez and Michael Phillips.
"That was a big game," Abrams said. "To win at Philomath is a big deal. We were down to one substitute in the first half. We were feeling a little tentative. After the first 20 minutes, we started to control the game a little more. Once our midfield started working, we created a whole lot of opportunities to score."
Central begins the second half of league play today at home against Newport. The Panthers won 5-0 earlier this season at Newport.
"You know it's a tea you can beat," Abrams said. "On the other hand, you can never underestimate a team. The conditions are different for every game. They can surprise us as much as anybody. When you win, then you can relax."