LAFAYETTE — For the second time this season against the Centaurus soccer team, Silver Creek goalkeeper Brandon Coder on Tuesday night turned what could have been a Warriors whitewashing into a pretty epic game out on the pitch.
But with a trip to the Class 4A quarterfinals on the line at Spangenberg Field, CHS' sophomore strikers weren't about to risk the idea of a shootout in their second time facing the Raptors senior keeper.
The No. 7 seed Warriors outshot No. 10 seed Silver Creek 42-4, but it took a Jesus Garcia goal in the 107th minute of play — just 3:22 shy of penalty kicks — for Centaurus to get a 2-1 win and move on to the round of eight for the first time since 2013.
Sophomore Christian Nunez also scored a goal and assisted Garcia's play from the corner of the field, which turned into the winner as Garcia went in attack mode along the end line to put himself in position for a short kick to the far side of the goal.
Coder finished with 19 saves, an effort that everyone was talking about, but it is Centaurus that will host No. 15 Littleton at CHS on Saturday. The Lions upset No. 2 John F. Kennedy on Tuesday.
"Getting closer to penalty kicks was a little nerve-wracking because their goalkeeper stood on his head the two games he played us," said Centaurus coach Lee Stanley. "We had some frustrating moments but powered through and were able to finish."
"We went with everything we were given and just tried our best to win," said Garcia after his second goal of the season. "Their keeper was really good. We talked about it a lot, just how good."
The teams played to a 1-1 draw back on Oct. 3 and the Warriors have not had a result other than a win since. Centaurus won the Northern League and headed to the playoffs with a seven-game win streak.
That confidence shown right at the outset on Tuesday as CHS (14-2-1) pressured SCHS (11-4-2) to the tune of 17 first-half shots, seven on goal. Coder stayed true to form as a player who has played every single minute between the posts this season for his team, showing his athleticism to thwart off five first-half corner kicks.
The Raptors actually had the best chance of the early second half as senior striker Connor Peskin narrowly missed a short-side opportunity in the 52nd minute, but a few more Centaurus chances thereafter gave way to Nunez's goal to the far top corner from 20 yards in the 60th minute.
Silver Creek actually used Coder's punchout of a ball in the 67th minute to counter and equalize the game — one of the few mistakes for Centaurus' controlling midfield. Simon Gerlach fed Trey Gerlach for a poke-in shot in the 67th minute to make it 1-1.
The Raptors withstood an array of shots through the first and second overtime periods, but Garcia was able to finally beat Coder from within 10 yards.
"I couldn't really think much, I just told myself I am putting this one in and got it," Garcia said. "It means everything. It was hard and tough but we played together."
"Brandon was huge again and he's stepped up in big plays all year," Silver Creek coach Rob Johnson, in his second season with SCHS, said after the game. "The big thing was in our midfield, just not stepping up to the ball enough. They did a good job of picking us apart.
"Silver Creek has never been to the third round, and that's the talk is fighting so hard to get there. There was a lot of pressure to meet that goal, and you could see it out there on the field."
Centaurus 2, Silver Creek 1
At Spangenberg FieldSilver Creek (11-4-2) 0 1 0 0 — 1
Centaurus (14-2-1) 0 1 0 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Centaurus: Christian Nunez (Jesus Garcia assist), 60th minute; Silver Creek: Trey Gerlach (Simon Gerlach), 67th minute; Centaurus: Garcia (Nunez), 107th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Silver Creek: Brandon Coder (107-2-19); Centaurus: Rodrigo Ruiz (107-1-2).