Second-Half Offense Powers Centralia to Win


The Centralia girls soccer team overcame a sluggish start in Shelton on Thursday, holding off the Highclimbers defensively before its own offense showed up in a 2-0 win in 2A EvCo play.

“It was the same thing we’ve been struggling with in games past: a lack of energy at the beginning of the game and not starting strong,” first-year coach Noel Vazquez said. “We know that we have to get better at that, because when we play teams that challenge us from the beginning, it’s really hard to get ourselves going.”

The spark wouldn’t fully show up until after Vazquez and his staff got another chance to get their side fired up at halftime. Then, Yarexy Mejia decided to take matters into her own hands in the 50th minute, taking over possession in her own half, dribbling past defenders to cross midfield, and firing a laser from 40 yards out that found its way through the keeper’s hands to give Centralia a 1-0 lead.

“That kind of got us all riled up to keep pushing forward, and we were able to continue the attack,” Vazquez said.

The pressure continued until the 63rd minute, when Olivia Gruginski made it 2-0 off an assist from Anahi Corona.

Centralia finished with 21 shots, 14 of which were on target. Goalkeeper Lily Babka made five saves.

The Tigers will rest up over the weekend before heading to Chehalis to take on W.F. West for the Chronicle Cup. The Bearcats lead 4-0 on aggregate after winning the first matchup at Tiger Stadium.