Centennial on a charge into soccer provincials

The Centaurs are coming.

The defending senior girls AAA provincial high school soccer champions from Centennial secondary school in Coquitlam are riding a rail that they hope will lead them to the destination that’s never before been reached, a repeat.

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Thursday, the Centaurs put another stop along the route behind them as they claimed their second consecutive Fraser Valley championship by defeating Panorama Ridge, 2-0, Thursday at the Cloverdale Athletic Park.

It was a dominating performance, said Centennial coach Larry Moro.

“Possession must have been 75% in our favour,” he said of the game’s first half, adding it was likely even higher after the break. “It was a clean, tidy performance.”

One that’s been percolating towards a peak ever since undefeated Centennial lost out on adding a league title to their accomplishments this spring after a 1-1 draw against crosstown rival Dr. Charles Best in the last match of the regular season.

In Centennial’s four wins to achieve the Fraser Valley banner, they outscored their opponents 18-1. More importantly, their run included a 3-0 win over the Blue Devils, avenging the lacklustre effort that cost them top placing in the Fraser Valley North.

“We’ve learned we need to be at our best to let our skill level shine,” Moro said. “If we are to play to our potential, that intensity and teamwork have to be there each time we step on the field.”

That realization is familiar territory for Centennial’s 16 veteran players who rode a similar route to last year’s B.C. final at the University of British Columbia, where they defeated the Fleetwood Park Dragons, 1-0 in overtime, to claim the school’s first provincial banner since 2000, when Moro first took the reins as coach.

“They have learned what it takes to get to the top,” Moro said.

Which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the teams trying to summit when the provincial championships are played from May 29 to 31, at the Cloverdale Athletic Park.

• The Riverside Rapids will also be heading to the provincial championships. They joined Centennial and Dr. Charles Best, who were already assured their places, after a heartstopping 2-1 victory in overtime against Sullivan Heights in the match to determine seventh place in the Fraser Valleys and the last entrant from the region to advance.

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