Playoff positioning was at stake this week for our Centurions as they hit the road to play Faith Christian on Tuesday and Geneva on Thursday. Our players were certainly up to the task, and it showed in their level of play as they sought to improve on their 4-4 regular-season record.
Our team took the pitch by storm against Faith under rainy and windy conditions with Hector and Mason locking it down early on defense. The Centurions quickly converted their first set piece 10 minutes into the game when Kelly delivered a beautiful corner kick into the box, finding Joseph who deflected it off the keeper for a 1-0 lead. Give credit to Faith as they shook off the initial score to find the back of the net themselves, evening it up at 1 apiece just 2 minutes later. Our defense powered by the likes of Katie, Amanda and Jonah Lauretta hunkered down for the balance of the first half, till Tim was whistled for an unfortunate hand-ball in the opponent’s box. The ensuing PK by Faith left our team down by 1 going into half-time, but certainly still in the game. Our Centurions would find the equalizer mid-way through the second half when Tim crossed to Joseph upfield who took over from there and weaved around their keeper to even the score at 2. At this point in the game with both defenses playing well, you could sense that a single breakaway would probably be the deciding factor. Faith found that moment with just a couple minutes left in the game, and even though Will fearlessly came out of the box to contest this last shot on goal, the outcome was a 2-3 loss for our team. Our team seemed unfazed by the close match, knowing they’d square off against Geneva for their final playoff primer two days later.
The Geneva team our Centurions faced on Thursday for their final regular-season game was a much feistier version of the same team they faced earlier in the season. The opposing teams spent the first 20 plus minutes testing each other’s defenses with spirited play on both sides of the field. Normally entrenched as our stalwart keeper, it was Cade this time on offense with the nice tap-in to open up the scoring for Circle. Within a couple of minutes Deborah also scored to put our team up by 2 heading into the half. Circle came out hot in the second half and Kelly’s corner kick found Ben Moore who shot it quickly past the keeper to increase the lead to three. With the exception of a late score by Geneva, the rest of the game belonged to Amanda and Circle’s strong front line. Amanda whistled one past the keeper for a 4-0 lead, and then wrapped up our scoring with another goal from Kelly’s impeccably delivered corner kick. The 5-1 final score was the perfect cap to a 5-5 regular season heading into the championship week.
We’ve really witnessed this young group pull together over these past weeks and go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league. So expect some fireworks as they take on the likes of St. Luke’s or ICS on Tuesday in Round 1, and have their sights set on the Championship game on Thursday. Go get ‘em Centurions!