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LEONARD ORTIZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Santa Ana Valley's Alfonso Sanchez, left, and Century's Brian Rojas battle for the ball on Friday.

Practice pays off for Century

STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA – The play has become a part of every training session for the Century boys soccer team.

As soon as Brian Rojas saw Jafet Lopez play the ball to Livan Reynoso four minutes into overtime Friday, Rojas began his run behind Lopez and toward the Santa Ana Valley goal.

Just as they practice it, Reynoso flicked the ball over the Falcons’ backline and right to Rojas, who chipped a shot into the top of the goal, giving the Centurions a 4-3 Orange League victory against the rival Falcons.

It was Rojas’ second goal of the match. In the 12th minute, he put the host Centurions up 1-0 when he drilled a low, hard shot underneath Jose Mata’s arms as he tried to make a save for the Falcons.

“It makes me real happy and my team real happy because we got a victory,” Rojas said. “It’s Valley, and it feels really good getting a win against them.”

Valley (7-7-1, 1-1) twice held a one-goal lead over the Centurions (9-4-1, 1-1). Heriberto Castelan knocked in a pass from Leonardo Razo in the 26th minute, giving Valley a 2-1 advantage. In the 72nd minute, Valley went in front, 3-2, when Marcos Torres fired a line drive inside the right post.

“Overall, I thought we played well, but we had some silly mistakes and a lack of focus,” Santa Ana Valley coach Jose Sanchez said. “It should have been a win.”

With a minute to go in stoppage time, the Centurions were awarded a free kick just outside the box. Eduardo Leal tied the score, 3-3, curling his shot into the upper left corner.

Jorge Diaz scored from just about the same place for Century in the 58th minute, evening the score at 2-2.

“Soccer is a psychological game, so at halftime, I told them to get their stuff together,” Century coach Bruce Silverman said. “This is big. Anytime you beat Valley it is a big win.”

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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