PREP BOYS SOCCER: Central opens playoffs against Marist

INDEPENDENCE — After the high of clinching a share of the Mid-Willamette Conference title, Central’s boys soccer team suffered a letdown, falling to Woodburn 2-1 on Oct. 24.

“We played poorly,” Panthers coach Joe Orozco said. “We couldn’t get anything going. We didn’t pressure them at all, our passing game wasn’t there, and we didn’t defend well either. We gave them all the room they needed to create plays and they did.”

Christian Lua scored in the second half, but Central couldn’t find the equalizer.

The Panthers hope to put that setback behind them they prepare for the state playoffs.

No. 4 Central hosts No. 13 Marist Catholic Wednesday (today) at 6 p.m. Marist Catholic enters the match with a 10-4 record overall and 6-1 mark in Midwestern League play.

The winner faces the winner of No. 12 South Albany vs. No. 5 La Salle on Saturday in the quarterfinals with the state semifinals scheduled for Tuesday.

“We know that every team from here on out are going to be tough,” Orozco said. “We learned (against Woodburn) that we have to execute our game plan. If we don’t, it’s going to be difficult for us to get a win.”

The Panthers are looking to move on to the 5A quarterfinals. Central has lost in the first round each time each of the last three seasons, but Orozco said they are out to stop history from repeating itself.

“We started to bring up the intensity of practice to be more consistent and focus on making our passing more accurate,” Orozco said. “We’ve talked about eating healthy, staying hydrated and sleeping better and being more organized in our drills.”


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