ARVADA — Thanks to a painful spate of nagging injuries, the Centaurus girls soccer team limped into its tough nonconference battle Wednesday against D’Evelyn.
Things soon went from bad to worse for the Warriors in the health department, not to mention on the scoreboard.
Unable to generate a spark from what usually is a high-octane offense, Centaurus suffered a 2-0 defeat against the host Jaguars while watching a couple starters stagger to the sideline along the way.
“I thought it was making a difference that our front line is not healthy,” Centaurus coach Mario Bezzina said. “When you need that extra step, we’re not getting it. I think that’s our main thing — getting our forwards back to health so we can start flowing again the way we want to.”
While pre-existing injuries contributed to the lack of firepower up top for a team that entered the match having scored at least five goals in each of its four victories, albeit against some lighter competition, the injuries continued to pile up for the Warriors. Junior Allison Ebsersole left the game midway through the first half after a jarring collision resulted in a heavily bleeding nose. Early in the second half Centaurus lost starting goalkeeper Kathy Tran when a collision near the top of the penalty box left the senior dazed.
Though both plays were clean, they left the Warriors shorthanded in the field and forced Bezzina to turn to his No. 3 goalkeeper, freshman Moniphon Xiong, with backup goalie Aubrey Schatz already sidelined with a rib injury.
Bezzina said he believes Schatz will be available when Centaurus returns to the field Saturday in a home date against Peak to Peak.
“We just weren’t exactly at our top speed,” senior Danelle Dondelinger said. “We were creating good opportunities, we just couldn’t get them to fall today. We aren’t as deep this year, so our injuries are definitely hurting us. But we just have to tough it out.”
D’Evelyn took the lead in the 16th minute when Katie Cuniff struck a left-footed shot that arced away from Tran before curling inside the far post. Centaurus managed to keep it a one-goal game until the 74th minute, but the Jaguars’ Emily Garnier put the game out of reach with a beautiful 45-yard free kick that sailed under the crossbar well beyond the reach of Xiong.
“It was a good test of where we are,” Bezzina said. “(D’Evelyn) is a good, organized team and they’re very cohesive in their play. We’re just hoping to get our fluidity back.”
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D’Evelyn 2, Centaurus 0
At North Area Athletic Complex
Centaurus 0 0 — 0
D’Evelyn 1 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — D’Evelyn: Katie Cuniff (Casey Quirk), 16th minute; Emily Garnier (unassisted), 74th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Centaurus: Kathy Tram (50-1-3); Moniphon Xiong (30-1-2); D’Evelyn: Courtney Stutheit (80-0-4).