Central snaps 19-game losing streak

Central’s Kenyon Downard, far right, celebrates Tuesday night after scoring the first goal in the Warriors’ 3-0 victory over Palisade at Walker Field. The win was Central’s first in 19 games.

Central boys soccer coach Doug Beach put it best after the Warriors’ 3-0 victory over Palisade on Tuesday night at Walker Field.

“These guys deserve it,” Beach said.

With the victory, Central snaps a 19-game losing streak dating back to last year.

The Warriors (1-12) pushed the ball up the wings against the Bulldogs (1-12-1) before playing it into the middle, a formula that gave them numerous good shots and a trio of scores.

Not every run was successful — Palisade’s outside backs kept pace and often took the ball away from the attacking player — but once the Warriors found space, the crosses and centering passes into the penalty box created a chaotic mess of scoring opportunities.

Central’s first chance, though, was a clean look. After a long pass up the western sideline, Alonzo Arevalos played a low, pass into the center of the box to a wide open Kenyon Downard. The sophomore, without a defender nearby, blasted it home to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute.

That advantage carried to halftime and the score didn’t change until the middle of the second half, when senior Carlos Flores fielded a deflected ball off a cross into the middle. Flores turned before launching a one-touch shot from outside the box and the ball settled in the bottom left corner of the net.

Flores had a simple reason for the Warriors’ victory.

“We actually listened to coach this time,” Flores said with a laugh. “We played the corners and we got the result.”

Even with a two-goal lead, Central kept playing balls up the sideline and focusing their attack toward the corner flags. The Warriors’ rhythm picked up in the second half, with fewer passes played out of bounds, and Central even started string passes together in the central midfield.

Johnny Bravo capped scoring late in the game by attacking from the right wing and driving a long, hard shot that slipped between the legs of Palisade’s goalkeeper and into the net.

Palisade coach Tim Hofer said his team gave up some scoring opportunities to Central, but also did little to take advantage of their own chances on the attack. Palisade had a handful of one-on-one opportunities on offense that were either parried by Central keeper Josh Stocks or shot wide of the frame.

“We created some great opportunities ourselves,” Hofer said. “The difference was that they just finished theirs.”

Beach said the victory was a big moment for his players.

“Every game they’ve gotten better and better and better and better,” Beach said. “Finally they put it all together.”


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