LAFAYETTE — Their leading scorer is a freshman. So is their starting goalie.
Yep, the Centaurus Warriors are a youthful bunch, but that hasn’t stopped them from gamely competing at the outset of the girls soccer season. Now the Warriors are hoping the wins can start to coincide with the effort of the new-look squad.
It was a winnable one Tuesday night at Warrior Stadium, but Centaurus came out on the short end of a 1-0 decision against D’Evelyn in a 4A non-league match.
“We had a lot of a chances but we just weren’t there energy-wise,” said Warriors senior Allison Ebersole, one of the few veterans on the roster. “Yeah, very frustrating.”
Centaurus (1-3) had a handful of prime chances, including Ebersole’s rocket that narrowly sailed over the crossbar as time wound down in the first half. D’Evelyn (2-1) broke a scoreless stalemate near the midway point of the second half on a goal by Becca Mazur.
The Warriors continued to fire away, but never got one past Jaguars keeper Courtney Stutheit.
“We created, so for the most part I think we did OK,” Warriors coach Mario Bezzina said. “We’re not quite firing on all cylinders yet.”
The Warriors continue to play without standout senior midfielder Lauren Esler, who is nearly recovered from a knee injury endured last season. She missed the entire basketball season and is projected to return after spring break.
Outside back Kaeley Jenkins also is just recently recovering from a knee injury from last season. She played Tuesday but didn’t start as she eases back into action.
“With Lauren missing, it makes a difference,” Bezzina said. “But it’s giving the underclassmen a chance to prove themselves on the field, and I think we’re making progress in the way we play. We’re not consistent but it’s getting there.”
Freshman Olivia Fase leads the Warriors with three goals this season after a hat trick against Skyview, and classmate Laura Leibfried is tops with three assists. Another freshman, Roxana Vrainian got the start in goal Tuesday before giving way to junior Aubrey Schatz in the second half.
With holdovers such as Ebersole and Morgan Brendefur, cohesion is still a work in progress. Ebersole, who will play at Hesston Collge next season, was abundantly clear about what she wants to see before Centaurus dives into Northern League play.
“More connecting on passes,” she said. “We’re booting it to each other instead of passing it, and I want to get goals.”
D’Evelyn can identify with having a youthful squad. The Jaguars have zero seniors on their roster and dress eight sophomores.
“We talked about it beforehand that we wanted not only a win for us, but for our league, too,” said D’Evelyn coach Paul Moline, whose squad plays in the 4A Jefferson County League. “With the at-large bids for the tournament, even if we don’t get in, it looks better for our league if we win this game.”
Thanks to Mazur’s tally on an assist from Aubrey Sotolongo, the Jaguars did.
“We worked really hard to finally get a goal,” Moline said. “Centaurus was very unfortunate at the beginning maybe not to put one or two away, because we handed them some chances. That’s a sign of youth for us too, in not defending properly in that situation.”
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D’Evelyn 1, Centaurus 0
At Warrior Stadium
D’Evelyn (2-1) 0 1 — 1
Centaurus (1-3) 0 0 — 0
Goals (assists) — D’Evelyn: Becca Mazur (Aubrey Sotolongo), 57th.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — D’Evelyn: Courtney Stutheit (80-0-6); Centaurus: Roxana Vranian (40-0-0); Aubrey Schatz (40-1-2).