Tigers stay alive with win over Eagles


Centralia reaped the benefits of its home-field advantage one final time on Tuesday, defeating Hudson’s Bay 1-0 in a district tournament elimination game.

The Tigers lost their home opener, but have since won seven games in a row on the turf at Tiger Stadium, including Tuesday’s postseason tilt.

The Eagles nearly took the lead in the opening minute of the game, but Alejandro Arevalo came through with a massive save that kept the game scoreless. That save is the latest in a string of excellent saves for Arevalo, who posted his sixth shutout of the season.

“He keeps saying he doesn’t want the season to end,” Centralia coach Noel Vazquez said. “And he’s gonna do everything in his power to make sure of it.”

The game remained scoreless until the 34th minute, when Alan Cox headed in a corner kick from Angel Rojas to give the Tigers (11-7) the lead.

Cox had four goals in the regular season last spring, but his goal on Tuesday was just his second of the season.

“Just taking advantage of set pieces when we have them is crucial,” Vazquez said. “With Cox being great in the air defensively, we should be able to use that offensively. Today, that definitely paid off.”

Hudson’s Bay made a push in the second half, earning several corner kicks, but they never strung together enough quality passes to get a great look at the net.

The win puts the Tigers one victory away from their first state tournament appearance since 2011. To advance, they’ll need to defeat Tumwater, which also lost on Tuesday, on the road on Thursday. 

Centralia lost at Tumwater District Stadium back in March, but the Tigers won the rematch at Tiger Stadium in April. 

Vazquez knows that it’ll take another all-around effort to top the T-Birds, especially on the road, but he’s confident that the boys will go out fighting.

“We don’t want it to be our seniors last game,” Vazquez said. “The excitement of being one game away from state is humongous. They’re definitely excited and looking forward to it.”