LAFAYETTE — Much to the dislike of Centaurus head soccer coach Lee Stanley, freshman sensation Christian Nunez is not going to be a hidden commodity for the Warriors for long.
Just four contests into his prep career, actually, Nunez already has formulated his breakout game. That came Wednesday night at the newly renovated Spangenberg Field, where Nunez’s three first-half goals helped propel CHS to a 5-0 victory against Erie.
So far, Nunez has done his best to out-shine the new lights installed at the field this summer, and the Warriors are 4-0 largely because of it.
“I just feel really good about making varsity, and I hope to maybe get more during the season,” Nunez said. “We’ve been practicing really well so far, and I just think we have a great team that can get pretty far. We want to keep passing the ball even quicker, taking more shots on goal and finishing our chances.”
A slick-working CHS front line already has scored at least three goals in all four contests so far this season, and against the Tigers (0-1-1) they got going early in the counter attack.
Nunez flipped a deflected ball into the goal in the ninth minute to get Centaurus on the board, made it 2-0 on a perfect cross into the goal box from Gunnar Bickel in the 20th, and finished off his trio of goals with a rocket shot in the 29th.
Senior Miguel Ramirez also scored in the first half, then assisted on Centaurus’ final tally just two minutes into the second stanza.
Nunez already has five goals and an assist, but the Warriors have simply looked strong collectively. In out-shooting Erie 14-1 on-frame, it may have been their best overall effort yet.
“This game was about playing our style and trying to play at the speed we’ve been having and want to have through the season. We did a lot of work in the preseason and I expected a fast start,” Stanley said. “We have a lot of tough teams in our league that we have to be ready for, and I absolutely love how we’re playing for each other.
“We have 13 guys officially on varsity and another group that swings up, and those guys are working hard to keep their spot to be in line to play varsity. I think it leads to a lot of competitive play within the program.”
For Erie, goalie Dylan Brown did about all he could to keep the visitors in the game. He had nine saves, and none of them came easy.
The Tigers had a very sudden coaching change just prior to the start of the season and coach Jason Turner is still trying to work to everybody’s strengths. They forged a draw against Overland to open the season, but on Wednesday broke down in front of their own net and lost the possession game decisively.
“We’re still getting to know each other I think,” Turner said. “We have some younger players out there and we had some communication breakdowns that can be adjusted.”
Centaurus 5, Erie 0
At Spangenberg Field
Goals (assists) —
Centaurus: Christian Nunez (Cristain Rice assist), 9th minute; Centaurus: Nunez (Gunnar Bickel), 20th; Centaurus: Miguel Ramirez (CJ Himel), 27th; Centaurus: Nunez (Konner Syed), 29th; Centaurus: Himel (Ramirez), 42nd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) —
Erie: Dylan Brown (80-5-9); Centaurus: Rodrigo Ruiz (80-0-1).