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Centennial High School's playoff journey comes to an end by giving up a two-point lead to La Salle, and losing 3-2.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - The Centennial boys soccer team's postseason run ended after losing to La Salle Prep on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the quarterfinals. The No. 3 La Salle Catholic College Preparatory came back from a two-point, second half deficit to knock-off No. 10 ranked Centennial High School on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the 5A boys Soccer State Championships quarterfinals 3-2.

First half

The home team got off to a hot start, taking the first couple shots on goal early into the first half. Centennial's goalkeeper Jason Marcus was busy early, making some amazing saves to keep the Falcons scoreless in the first half.

The Falcons continued to put the ball in some dangerous situations. Although La Salle found a few opportunities, they were not being able to close.

Eagle's senior Randys Valdivia Diaz led the Centennial attack with some impressive moves going down the field. The Eagles would get the first score with a goal from Anthony Brambila Pelayo in the last 3 minutes. Centennial would be able to hold on to their lead before the end of the first half. PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - With the win over Centennial, the Falcons continue their championship hunt as they face McKay in the semifinals.

Second half

A large visiting Centennial crowd and the La Salle student section were extremely vocal all game long, creating an electric playoff atmosphere entering the second half.

The Eagles would get to the fast start in the second half with Centennial getting its second goal from a penalty kick senior Raul Garcia Ponce. The Eagles would be up 2-0 on Falcons.

La Salle a was able to retaliate with a goal from senior Luke Warner off a free kick, giving the Falcons life, some momentum and cutting the Eagle's lead in half. With their backs against the wall, the Falcons completed their comeback with an equalizer goal from breakout star Vance Sheffield.

Losing their lead, the Eagles continued to fight, using their speed and solid ball control skills to move through the La Salle defense. The Falcons focused on methodically moving down the field and finding feet to keep the ball moving.

The Falcons would get the game winning goal with a shot from forward Breslin Nichols, beating the visiting Eagles 3-2.

Post-game and next match up

"Centennial came up with an early goal and we really didn't feel like we could finish our chances in the first half," said La Salle head coach Monty Hawkins. "But this team has incredible resilience, effort and they just never quite."

"I have nothing but love and respect for these guys," said Centennial head coach Todd Saks. "They played a beautiful game of soccer. They played for each other because this team is a real brotherhood, and you can see it on the field. They didn't stop until that final whistle."

The Falcons continue their post-season campaign as they travel to Salem to take own McKay High School on Thursday, Nov. 8. The Eagles finish the season with an overall record of 9-5-1 and a league record of 4-3-1.


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