LAFAYETTE – The Centaurus boys soccer team controlled the game, the flow and the chances – everything but the scoreboard.
The Warriors took it to No. 3 Silver Creek but it took a late regulation goal by Fernando Ruiz for them to salvage a 1-1 tie with the Raptors on Tuesday night.
Centaurus (5-2-1, 2-0-1) was strong from the start and Silver Creek was left scrambling to the constant pressure. Senior goalkeeper Brandon Coder was the star, making 19 saves, unofficially, to let Silver Creek (9-0-2, 3-0-1) escaped with a tie in 4A Northern League matchup.
“It helps me a lot. It shows that I can save my team when I need it and they can rely on me,” Coder said. “It shows I can help in the back when my team needs me.”
His team needed him Tuesday, and he nearly delivered the Raptors’ 10th straight win before Ruiz scored.
“We dominated and just couldn’t finish,” Centaurus coach Lee Stanley said.
The Warriors were not fazed by Silver Creek’s record or ranking, but looked like it would be frustrated when Coder made save after save.
“Brandon probably had the best game of his high school career, without a doubt,” Raptors coach Rob Johnson said. “We’re young, we’re small, anytime we have to get into a physical battle we want to play good soccer but we can’t because they’re bigger and stronger players.”
The Warriors finally broke through in the 68th minute when Ruiz’s chip shot tied it.
Centaurus didn’t let up, putting several more shots on net. Ruiz nearly scored again in the 77th minute but Coder made a diving save to keep it tied.
“I needed to bury that chance,” Ruiz said.
In the first half Centaurus had six shots on goal, and another that hit the crossbar in the 29th minute. Despite the continued pressure it was the Raptors who cashed in when Simon Gerlach rattled a shot past Warriors goalkeeper Rodrigo Ruiz in the 37th minute to give Silver Creek a 1-0 lead.
That was the extent of the Raptors’ offense, but they were able to hold off the Warriors.
“We played on our heels, we played panicked and we should have been better,” Johnson said. “All the credit to them. They took it right to us and created problems. Being at that high ranking we thought teams will let us win and they took it right at us.”
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/BoCoPreps
Silver Creek 1, Centaurus 1
At Spangenberg Field
Silver Creek (9-0-2, 3-0-1)1000—1
Centaurus (5-2-1, 2-0-1)0100—1
Goals (assists) —Silver Creek: Simon Gerlach, 37th minute; Centaurus: Fernando Ruiz, 68th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Silver Creek: Brandon Coder (100-1-19); Centaurus: Rodrigo Ruiz (100-1-3).