For the Centennial Centaurs senior girls soccer team, the road to defending their provincial AAA championship just got a little shorter.
The Centaurs defeated crosstown rivals, Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils, 3-0, Monday, and the win ensures Centennial a spot in the provincial tournament that will be played at Cloverdale Athletic Park May 29 to 31. More importantly, it means the team will have to play one less game as they vie for the best seeding possible.
“It certainly takes the pressure off,” said Centaurs coach Larry Moro of the win that avenged a 1-1 draw between the two sides in the last match of the regular season that cost Centennial a Fraser Valley North league title.
Moro said the intensity, teamwork, leadership and commitment his side showed on Wednesday tells him his charges are ready to take their game to the level required for another run at the provincial championship.
“Being in a high pressure match that meant something, against a terrific opponent, was a perfect test for us,” Moro said.
And it was a test his side passed, he added.
“The girls were very motivated.”
Centennial’s next match will provide another measure of their preparation for provincials, as they’ll face the Fraser Valley’s top seed, South Delta, on Monday in South Delta.
“They are well-coached, athletic and competitive,” Moro said of the veteran side that has yet to lose a match this season.
For Best, the loss means they can’t come up short again in their remaining games if they’re to qualify for the provincial tournament.
“It’s literally one game at a time now,” said Blue Devils’ coach Alfonso Napoletano.
His side will host seventh-seed Enver Creek on Monday and Napoletano said they’ll have to bring a better effort than they showed against the Centaurs.
“That was the worst game we have played against Centennial in three years,” he said. “They capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t.”
Still, he’s confident the five wins and draw the Blue Devils amassed in the regular season will serve them well in their quest to get to Cloverdale.
“We still feel confident with the desire and talent within out team that we can battle through the back road,” he said.
• In other matches on Wednesday, Riverside lost to South Delta 1-0 and will host Fraser Heights on Monday in a must-win game to stay alive for a berth in provincials. Heritage Woods lost to Enver Creek and was eliminated from the tournament.