LAFAYETTE — Few members of the Centaurus girls soccer team were part of the program when the Warriors last won a playoff game in 2009.

So in some ways, Tuesday’s 4-2 first-round playoff victory over Sand Creek felt like the beginning of even bigger things to come in the next few years.

Of the five players who scored goals or notched assists for CHS, none were seniors. Only four Warriors, including starting goalie Kelly Turcotte, will graduate this spring.

“It’s definitely headed up,” CHS junior Midori Patterson said. “I think what we did (this year) was a little unexpected. But I think we’ll go far. We’re looking forward to the rest of the playoffs and next year, too.”

The 10th-seeded Warriors improved to 10-4-2. The victory lifts them into the second round of the playoffs, where they’ll face No. 7 D’Evelyn (9-4-3) on the road on Friday night.

Freshman Lauren Esler led the way with a pair of goals and an assist. Her first score came in the 36th minute and gave Centaurus the lead for good after Sand Creek (7-9-0) had tied the score at 1-1 three minutes earlier.

Junior Shanlie Anderson scored CHS’ first goal, while junior Kayla Matino fed Morgan Brendefur with an assist on her goal that made it 3-1 early in the second half. Esler’s final score, on a feed from sophomore Danelle Dondelinger, made it 4-1 in the 67th minute and put the game away.

Third-year coach Mario Bezzina said the older players in the program are beginning to mesh after three years in the same system now.

“That’s beginning to show,” Bezzina said. “They kind of know what I’m asking for.”

Down 2-1 to start the second half, the visiting Scorpions looked like they might tie the score again. But Centaurus sophomore Kelsey Wood swooped in behind Turcotte during a melee in front of the net and deflected a sure goal away as she slammed into the right post.

The key play came just hours after Wood had helped the CHS track team break the school record in the 3,200-meter relay. Anderson and Patterson had contributed to a pair of relay victories themselves earlier in the day, and the CHS speed showed as the Warriors were able to get behind Sand Creek’s pressuring back line to get open looks at the net.

“I just try to go as hard as I can,” Esler said of getting behind the defense for her scores.

Lauren Vyvlecka scored the first goal for the Scorpions, who feature plenty of youth themselves. Amanda Timmermeyer added the second in the 76th minute, but that proved too little, too late.

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Centaurus 4, Sand Creek 2

At Warrior Stadium

Sand Creek (7-9-0) 1 1 — 2

Centaurus (10-4-2) 2 2 — 4

Goals (assists) — Sand Creek: Vyvlecka (Gagnon), 33rd minute; Timmermeyer (unassisted), 76th minute. Centaurus: Anderson (Esler), 9th minute; Esler (Anderson), 36th minute; Brendefur (Matino), 56th minute; Esler (Dondelinger), 67th minute.

Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Sand Creek: Pratt (80-4-6); Centaurus: Turcotte (80-2-5).