Crosstown rivals set for Fraser Valley showdown

Larry Moro hopes the 10 goals his Centennial Centaurs scored in the opening round of the Fraser Valley championships will be a catalyst for Wednesday’s quarter-final rematch against the Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils at the latter's home turf field.

The coach of the defending provincial high school senior girls soccer champions said the confidence the Centaurs gained from their 10-0 win over W.J. Mouat on Monday should help them put last week’s disappointing 1-1 draw with their crosstown rivals behind them.

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“Finishing is a confidence thing as much as skill,” said Moro, who’s Centaurs controlled the run of play in last week’s Fraser Valley North finale that clinched the league title for the Blue Devils. “We always generate scoring opportunities, so hopefully after scoring a bundle that confidence will remain.”

Blue Devils’ coach Alfonso Napoletano, meanwhile, said his team’s 3-0 win over Elgin Park in Monday’s opening round came with its own frustrations. 

Best controlled the play but also counted three crossbars in addition to its three goals.

“We had many chances, but our finishing wasn’t clinical,” Napoletano said. “It wasn’t a pretty win, but good enough.”

It also set up Wednesday’s all-Coquitlam showdown between the fourth and fifth-seeded teams in the 16-team Fraser Valley tournament. The winner will automatically qualify for the provincial championships to be held at Cloverdale Athletic Park May 29 to 31 as well as move on to the regional semifinals. The loser, on the other hand, will have to win two more games to advance.

Moro said his players know what’s at stake.

“They also know how tough a game it will be,” he said. “They know what they need to improve on from last week, so bringing the intensity will be part of the adjustment.”

Napoletano said he expects a titanic struggle between the two rivals

“Both teams have quality players that play at the highest level in the community and know each other well,” he said. “The difference will basically be which team finishes on their scoring chances.”

He’ll get no argument from his sideline rival.

“Being on the front foot offensively and showing some poise around the net are vital,” Centennial’s Moro said.

• Ninth seed Riverside Rapids defeated eighth-ranked Abbostford secondary 3-0. They’ll play top-seed South Delta at Winskill Park Turf in Delta on Wednesday. The Heritage Woods Kodiaks, who were ranked 15th, lost to second-seed Fleetwood Park, 3-1. They’ll play Enver Creek in a consolation round match on Wednesday.

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