Sebesta in right place at right time to lift Central past Fruita

Fruita Monument goalkeeper Scott Mende makes a save Tuesday night as Central’s Cory Rhodes, 17, and Theo Cristen, 8, look for a rebound during the Warriors’ 1-0 victory over the Wildcats at Walker Field.

Jacob Sebesta has an uncanny sense of timing on the soccer field.

“Jacob has a knack for being in the right place in the right time,” Central coach Doug Beach said. “He’s not the fastest guy, he just knows where to put himself.”

In Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Fruita Monument at Walker Field, Sebesta got where he needed to be early on.

He scored the only goal of the game in the 17th minute on an open shot past Fruita goalie Scott Mende.

Early in the game, Central’s offense controlled possession and used sneaky passes to penetrate Fruita’s defensive third.

With 23 minutes left in the half, Sebesta had been patrolling the middle of the goalie box while forward Cory Rhodes handled the ball directly to his right, outside the box.

In a quick move, Rhodes saw the opening and passed the ball on a line to Sebesta, who chipped it past Mende.

“I just got my head up, saw Jake over there and found him,” Rhodes said.

From there, the Warriors’ offensive opportunities were limited as Fruita’s defense responded the rest of the half and took away many of the looks Central found earlier.

“We came out flat,” said Fruita coach Dan McKee. “We didn’t start (using) that possession game until the last 20 minutes of the first half.”

In the second half, Fruita came out more aggressive on both ends of the field.

Offensively, the Wildcats slowed the game down and pushed through balls up the middle, but when they got toward the goal, the forwards were cut off by Central’s defensive line.

“They close out very well,” Central goalie Conor Beach said about the defense. “They didn’t stab, they just stood them up. It was all I could ask for.”

Fruita had breakaway opportunities, but Central’s keeper left his net and made sliding stops before Fruita could get a shot. Beach finished with eight saves.

Central nearly scored again in the 73rd minute when Zach Lindsey took a shot several feet from midfield. The shot sailed inches above right crossbar and was close enough that several fans mistook it for a goal and started celebrating.

Fruita kept the offensive pressure up at the end and nearly scored on the final play of the game when forward Peter Martinez took a through ball up the middle and had wide-open shot.

Conor Beach came out of the net and got in front of the ball.

“That last save was just unbelievable,” Doug Beach said. “I thought they were going to put it in and he comes out big as a horse and blocks that thing. It was just amazing.”


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