The 10th-ranked Centaurus boys soccer team defeated the visiting Northridge Grizzlies 5-0 Tuesday night to clinch the 4A Northern League title. They finished league play undefeated at 6-0-1, and it is their first league title under head coach Lee Stanley.
"It feels pretty good. We were talking about this being an important game and Northridge is a quality team. The guys executed the game plan perfectly," Stanley said.
As he has all season, sophomore striker Fernando Ruiz led the way for the Warriors. He opened the scoring in the 8th minute, as Noah Davis won possession deep in the Northridge half and played a perfect cross to Ruiz, who rolled it past the oncoming Grizzlies keeper for the 1-0 lead.
Ruiz would score again in the 54th minute. A give-and-go down the left side led to Jack Billelo finding Ruiz, who snuck the ball inside the far post with the outside of his right foot. Ruiz now has 21 goals on the season.
"He's our offense, basically," Stanley said about Ruiz. "We spread around the goals, but the only game he hasn't scored in is the 1-0 loss to D'Evelyn. He's pretty special."
Centaurus' second-leading scorer, Christian Nunez, also got on the board twice. In the 68th minute, he took a long pass from Toby Rubenfeld, fought off a defender, rounded the onrushing goalie, and tapped it into the empty net for a 4-0 Warriors lead.
Nunez would complete the scoring in the 76th minute, as Raudel Manjarrez's cross from the right side found Nunez alone in the box, and he knocked it home.
Cristain Rice scored his second goal of the season in the 48th minute, as he finished low and across the keeper from the right side to put the Warriors ahead 2-0.
Defensively, Northridge was limited to just one shot on goal.
"We've been able to keep a lot of teams to low shot tallies. We've been focusing on shutouts the last couple games," Stanley said.
Centaurus will close out the regular season with two non-league matchups at home. They take on Skyview on Thursday and Denver West on Saturday.
Centaurus 5, Northridge 0
At CentaurusNorthridge (9-5-1)00—0Centaurus (10-2-1)14—5
Goals (assists) —Centaurus F. Ruiz (Davis) 8th minute, Rice (unassisted) 48th minute, F. Ruiz (Billelo) 54th minute, Nunez (Rubenfeld) 68th minute, Nunez (Manjarrez) 76th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Centaurus R. Ruiz 80-0-1; Northridge Reveles 59-2-7, Harkless 21-3-2.
Christoph Ludwig: 303-473-1313, firstname.lastname@example.org