INDEPENDENCE -- Carlos Esquivel scored to break a 1-1 tie near the end of the first half and later added an insurance goal, helping the Central boys soccer team to a 3-1 victory Sept. 17 against visiting Tillamook.
"We scored in the first minute of play, and that caused us to lose some of the drive and intensity I expected to see," Panthers coach Joe Penna said. "We were able to get back into a rhythm and scored again toward the end of the first half. We made some adjustments at halftime that allowed us to possess the ball much better in the second half."
Jonathan Myrie put Central ahead 1-0 in the first 60 seconds of the match. Tillamook tied it on a penalty kick in the 14th minute.
Esquivel put Central back ahead in the 35th minute off an assist from Myrie. Christian Gonzales assisted on Esquivel's second goal, scored in the game's 61st minute.
The Panthers (4-0-1 overall) also posted a 4-2 win Sept. 15 at home against Sisters.
Goals by Myrie, Israel Avila and Esquivel made it 3-0 Central with six minutes to go in the first half. Sisters scored back-to-back in the game's 67th and 68th minutes, but a goal by Myrie with about four minutes to go put the game away.
Salvador Najal played a key defensive role for Central at the sweeper position.
"He is not really a sweeper by nature, but he's been put into that role and has stepped up remarkably," Penna said. "He rarely makes a mistake and is a leader in the back. He leads by word and example."
Central learned it will be without exchange student Vlastic Princ for the rest of the season because he is ineligible because of Oregon School Activities Association regulations.
"It turns out he is ineligible as an exchange student because of the direct placement rule," Penna said. "It will be devastating to him and the team."