Centralia takes down Tumwater to shake up EvCo table


The Centralia boys soccer team came away with a huge golden-goal victory on Tuesday, as the Tigers defeated Tumwater 2-1 to shake up the EvCo standings.

Centralia jumped on top early with a penalty kick from Fernando Lopez, and the Tigers (5-4, 4-3 2A EvCo) held that lead until Tumwater (5-5-1, 5-2 2A EvCo) tied the game in the final minutes.

Centralia responded with a last-minute goal of their own towards the end of the second golden-goal OT period, as Alex Hernandez buried the winner in the 89th minute.

Noel Vazquez joined his players in racing onto the field to celebrate, and after the win, he was amped.

“We get in those situations and it seems to never really go our way,” Vazquez said. “Today, it went our way, and it felt really good … The boys pulled through, and it was really fun to see.”

The win comes just four days after a 3-0 loss to 3A Spanaway Lake, one where Vazquez said the Tigers came out feeling confident about how they were able to compete with one of the top 3A teams in the state.

That confidence carried over, and Vazquez expects it to continue to carry them into the back part of the schedule.

“It was a good morale boost for the guys,” Vazquez said. “We just viewed it as if we show up with energy for the rest of the season, we can shake up the table.”

With the loss, the Thunderbirds are now two games back of W.F. West at the top of the EvCo standings, and they are just a half-game up on Rochester, which is in third at 5-3 in league play.

Centralia is a half-game back of Rochester at 4-3, and the Tigers will have the chance to leap into the top three with a win over the Warriors on Friday.

“It’s kind of nice that they’re finding their stride and they’re excited for the second half of the season,” Vazquez said. “I have 21 guys on my roster, and I think every single one of them plays a big part in our success.”