The Central Christian College men's soccer team is off to their best start in over a decade, improving their record to 4-0 by winning their home opener on Friday night, 5-1 over the Presentation College Saints
The Tigers got off to a slow start on both sides of the ball in the opening half. They had a tough time defensively, tracking runners through the midfield, which held to a couple of quality chances by the Saints. Fortunately for the Tigers, the Saints were unable to capitalize on their defensive struggles and they were able to weather the early storm by the Saints. Adding to the frustration in the first half was the fact that the Tiger offense missed at least four one on one situations against the Saints' goal keeper. The netminder for the Saints mad a couple of nice saves, but the others were poor execution by the Tigers.
The Tigers finally broke through in the 37th minute when Leslie Feh beat a Saints defender in the left side of the 18 yard box, and then played a pass across the six-yard box to a sliding Andy Quintanilla, who punched the ball in, putting his team up 1-0. They would hold that lead the remainder of the half, heading into the intermission.
Unfortunately, the Tigers came out flat in the second half, and just five minutes into the half, poor communication inside the 18 yard box led to the equalizer for the Saints. Ten minutes later, the Tigers were awarded a penalty kick chance. Matias Nunez stepped up and buried the attempt, to give the Tigers the lead again, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Just 45 seconds after the PK, Feh took a pass from Nunez and then fired a shot on goal. The Saints goal keeper got a hand on the ball, but he couldn't get enough on it to stop the shot.
In the 65th minute, Nunez and Feh connected again, except this time it was Nunez with the goal and Feh with the assist. With a comfortable lead, the Tigers got another insurance goal in the 79th minute, this one unassisted off the foot of Felipe Da Costa Evengelista.
Antonio Ramirez Villa picked up his fourth win of the season, though he is still looking for his 1st clean sheet. He faced four shots on goal from the Saints, turning away three of them. Central head coach, Aaron Hoxie, commented on the win saying, "I thought that the difference in today's game was the defensive pressure from our midfield in the second half, especially after they equalized. The guys really ramped up their pressure and intensity. As a result, our average starting position was higher up the field, and we were able to capitalize. Scoring third goals in fourth minutes iced the game, and that was good to get rewarded for being in good positions." Hoxie continued, "Another key turning point in the game was Andy Quintanilla's energy. He was all over the place. He got a goal and his movement was instrumental in another. I'm happy for him."
"Give credit to the Presentation kids," concluded Hoxie. "I thought their center mids gave us fits, and their GK made several high level saves. I don't think the score line is reflective of how the game went. That was a hard working team we beat. The kids should be proud."
No rest for the weary as the Tigers will be back on the pitch again on Saturday. They will take on Ozark Christian College at home starting at 3 pm.