Eagles star scores hat trick in 5-1 victory
Centennial soccer's star senior forward needed two chances to score his second goal of the night en route to notching another hat trick in his illustrious Eagles career.
Andrew Martinez found himself stepping up to take a penalty kick with 11 minutes left in the first as his team hosted Sandy. It had been a chaotic day, with pre-game Senior Night festivities and driving rain that had made the pitch a sodden mess. Standing firm in goal was Pioneer senior Zander Ortega.
"I'm friends with (Zander), so he got in my head," Martinez said with a smile. "It wasn't my best take."
The striker sent the ball low to the right, but Ortega made an impressive diving stop. But unfortunately for the visiting squad, the ball bounced back to Martinez who tapped it in. Just like he has been all season, the Eagles' star was in the right place at the right time.
Martinez powered his team to a 5-1 victory over Sandy with three goals Thursday night, Oct. 21, at Centennial High School.
"It's crazy to have just finished my last home game," Martinez said, taking a moment to look out at the pitch. "To have all the amazing fans out here on this night, I wanted to come out and perform for them and my teammates."
With the victory Centennial (5-2, 7-5-1) stayed afloat in the playoff race, while Sandy (2-4-2, 4-6-3) fell back toward the middle of the Mt. Hood Conference.
"We controlled the game well," said Centennial Coach Todd Saks. "Overall we had good tempo, kept possession, and moved to the next attacking level quickly."
The Eagles started all the seniors on the roster, and many played important roles in the victory. Senior goal keeper Dennis Bessarab was stout, only letting in one goal after a deep shot in the first from Sandy junior Keenan Bayer.
The opening goal was scored by Centennial senior forward Bryan Sanguino Virreula, while the final goal was netted by fellow senior forward Rigo Martinez-Contreras. That closing goal came courtesy Martinez, who was playing out-of-position after a conversation with his coach before the match.
"We talked and he wanted me playing on the wing to get other players involved," Martinez said.
He used his speed and strength to spearhead many of the counterattacks, and when Sandy began walling him off with three to four defenders, Martinez made the unselfish passes.
"He did a really great job distributing the ball and getting shots to the other players," Saks said.
And, of course, he scored goals of his own. His total hit 25 for the year through Thursday's match.
"This is a great group of boys, they responded well and worked hard all season — one of the hardest working teams I've ever coached," Saks said. "It'll be hard for me to let this group of seniors go."
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