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With five goals from Emilia Warta and a 'penguin slide' after Emma Buchanan scored, it was a good night for the seniors.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - La Salle Prep senior Emelia Warta (17) had five goals in the Falcons' 9-1 win over Centennial on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, at La Salle Catholic College Prepartatory in Milwaukie.

Following a big win on Senior Night, the Falcons are flying into the playoffs.

The La Salle Prep girls soccer team beat Centennial 9-1 on Thursday, Oct. 27, with eight of those goals coming from the senior class. Emelia Warta led the way with five goals, Mia Middendorff added two of her own and Emma Buchanan scored the final goal of the night for the Falcons.

"We have really good team chemistry, and all of us want to work really hard for each other," said Warta after the match. "As seniors, this is our last run, so we want to put everything out on the field."

The Falcons did put everything onto the field on Wednesday — including one of their injured players.

At the start of the match, senior Allison Weber made her way to midfield for the opening kickoff in what would be her only action of the year. Weber is recovering from a torn ACL and has not been able to play this season. Still, the other Falcon seniors wanted to celebrate with their fallen comrade.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - La Salle Prep senior Allison Weber (right) comes off the pitch after taking the honorary kickoff for the Falcons on Senior Night, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2022, at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie.

"Soccer is a big part of her life," explained Warta of the tribute, which include Weber making one big kick out of bounds before coming off the field.

"Being able to get out here and reach that milestone — just to step on the pitch and put on her jersey — that was a big moment for her and for all of us."

After kicking the ball out of bounds, Weber was substituted off the field to rousing applause from the team and the fans in attendance.

Following the special kickoff, the Falcons moved comfortably against Centennial, passing the ball well in midfield and making good runs in the attacking third. Meanwhile, the La Salle Prep defense held firm and allowed just one goal to the Eagles.

La Salle scored five times in the first 25 minutes of the game, with the best of them coming on a headed goal by Warta from a Sydney Spotts corner kick. The Falcons rotated in a handful of substitutes to close out the half, before bringing the starters back in after halftime.

In between Warta's final two goals, La Salle Prep junior Natalia Gonzalez also scored in the second half as the Falcons built an 8-1 lead. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Buchanan's goal put her team up by eight. That score triggered the end of the match — and an interesting goal celebration by the team.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - La Salle Prep senior Emma Buchanan dives through the air to celebrate her goal in the Falcons' 9-1 win over Centennial on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2022, at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie.

Buchanan dove awkwardly yet purposefully to the ground as her teammates rushed to join her on the grass. It was a callback to last year's state semifinal win over North Eugene, when Maia Gutmann's celebration in the rain didn't go quite as planned.

"Maia attempted a 'penguin slide' because it was raining, and she just kind of fell flat," recalled Warta with a laugh. "The video of it resurfaced this week and got sent around in our group chat, so we thought it would be really funny to go out and penguin slide."

"It was fun," added Buchanan, who rarely scores as one of the center backs on defense. "I normally don't ever get shot opportunities, but it was fun to switch it up and a fun way to end it."

With the regular season done and dusted, the Falcons can now focus on their flight path through the 5A playoffs.

Last season, La Salle Prep fell to league rival Wilsonville in the state championship game. Now, the team's senior captains — Buchanan, Gutmann and Warta — are hoping to help the team write a happier final chapter for this year's playoff run.

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