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CARLOS DELGADO, FOR THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Santa Ana Valley's Adrian Casillas, right, and Century's Ronaldo Pineda battle for control of the ball during Friday's game at Centennial Park in Santa Ana.
See more photos from this game in the OCVarsity Hot Shots 2 slideshow.

Disciplined Century tops Santa Ana Valley

OCVARSITY.COM

SANTA ANA – Century has had some of the most talented teams in the past, but at this time in the season, the teamwork usually begins to erode, burying any championship dreams that the Centurions might have had.

This year’s roster can’t match the skill in last year’s lineup. However, the Centurions are playing with a discipline that was lacking in previous seasons. And on Friday, Century ran up and down Centennial Park using crisp one-and-two touch passes and kept the pressure on No. 9 Santa Ana Valley so the Falcons couldn’t turn and move the ball the way they wanted , leading the Centurions to a 3-1 victory against the Orange League rival Falcons.

Jesus Rojas scored both the first and last goals for Century, his final tally coming off a corner kick from sophmore midfielder Amirgy Pineda. Rojas also picked up an assist after he crossed the ball in to Heladio Sanchez in the 48th minute.

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SLIDESHOW: OCVarsity Hot Shots 2: Friday's soccer, water polo

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“This team is young and they listen. There aren’t the egos on this team,” Century coach Bruce Silverman said. “Last year, we had 21 seniors, and it was all about themselves. This team never fights. They push each other. I truly believe that is why we are being successful.”

The victory should have moved Century past Santa Ana Valley (9-4-3, 7-1) and into first place. But Century (9-5-2, 5-3) had to forfeit two games because a player broke CIF-SS Article 60, which bars a player from competing for another team during the season.

The victory keeps Century in a tie for second with Anaheim (13-5-1, 5-3), which beat Katella, 5-1, on Friday. To clinch the Orange League championship, all Santa Ana Valley has to do is win or tie one of its next two games.

“This would have probably given us the league championship. Winning league would have been great,” Silverman said. “But winning CIF is better, and we should still be able to make the playoffs.”

Century started playing the game with a flat-four defensive shape, but Valley was able to get behind the Centurions’ backline early And in the second minute, Adrian Casillas fired a shot from the top of the 6-yard box, but Edgar Espinoza kicked it away to record one of his three saves for Century.

Century eventually changed its defensive shape not too long after that.  Casillas managed to beat Espinonza in the 65th minute, volleying a shot inside the far post.

“This is disappointing. It is our first loss in league,” Santa Ana Valley coach Jose Sanchez said. “Hopefully, we will learn from this.”

In other boys soccer:

In the Freeway League:

No. 3 Sunny Hills 5, Buena Park 1: Gerardo Arias scored three goals for the host Lancers (12-7-1, 2-4-1).

Fullerton 6, La Habra 2: Yazi Hernandez, Michael Licon, Clayton Mohler, Juan Ortiz, Andrew Perez, and Fernando Rodriguez each scored goals for the Indians (6-2 in league).

In the Empire League:

Yorba Linda 3, Cypress 2: Jeremy Csear scored his 23rd goal of the season for the visiting Mustangs (10-5-2, 8-2-0).

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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