Deadlocked in a scoreless stalemate after a half, the Centralia boys soccer team used a second-half surge to defeat Shelton, 4-1, Friday night in a big league contest to keep its postseason hopes alive.
Paced by Brayan Orellana-Gamez second half brace, and two more goals from Kilmer Alverto Gabarrete and Leo Perez, the Tigers offense benefited from patience.
“We’ve been stressing defense, defense, defense,” Tigers coach Henry Gallanger said. “We’ve had a goal since the first week of the season, and for the most part we’ve been good on that goal. As a unit, we’re strong when we do what we’re supposed to do. They did a good job tonight of keeping the game in reach.”
The Tigers kept the Highclimbers off the scoreboard in the first half to stay alive, and used a penalty kick and two free kicks to score goals in the second half, taking advantage of key set piece opportunities.
After scoring the first goal, Shelton equalized shortly after before the Centralia barrage.
“We have guys that are snipers,” Gallanger said. “When we’re on, we’re on. We know we’re living and dying by close games.”
The Tigers have two games left this season, against Tumwater on the road next Tuesday before a matchup against Rochester on the road in their regular-season finale on Thursday.
“Our goal hasn’t changed,” Gallanger said. “We believe that as long as we keep those games close and tight, if we do things right, we can keep those games close and have some success and pick off wins.”
Gallanger also credited his group of seniors, Victor Reyes, Carlos Hernandez, Jaime Figueroa Orellana, Alberto Mojica, Steven Neely, Giordan Bressan, Cesar Ruiz Nino, Kevin Reyes Gomez, and Alonso Ruiz Valdovinos, for stepping up on Senior Night as well.