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Boys soccer: Arellano scores in the 79th as Centaurus beats 3A No. 1 JA

  • Centaurus High School surrounds Alejandro Arellano ...

    Centaurus High School surrounds Alejandro Arellano (No. 7) to celebrate his goal late in the game against Jefferson Academy on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Neal Ackerman (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Neal Ackerman (No. 13) moves the up the field against Jefferson Academy's Jacob Brackney (No. 2) on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Garrett Pugh (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Garrett Pugh (No. 1) keeps the ball in play after making a save against Jefferson Academy on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Antoine Greneir (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Antoine Greneir (No. 12) collides with Jefferson Academy's Josiah Shehata (No. 13) on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Jefferson Academy's Josh Neely (No. 1) ...

    Jefferson Academy's Josh Neely (No. 1) keeps the ball in play against Centaurus High School on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Garrett Pugh (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Garrett Pugh (No. 1) keeps the ball in play after making a save against Jefferson Academy on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Neal Ackerman (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Neal Ackerman (No. 13) and Jefferson Academy's Chrisly Kelly-Cannon (No. 8) chase down the ball on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Jefferson Academy's Jeremiah Davis (No. 10) ...

    Jefferson Academy's Jeremiah Davis (No. 10) battles with Centaurus' Sebastian Kemp (No. 18) on Thursday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Max Spear (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Max Spear (No. 20) collides with Jefferson Academy's Asher Bieser (No. 16) while jumping for the ball on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Calen Michel (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Calen Michel (No. 8) battles for possession with Jefferson Academy's Jeremiah Davis (No. 10) on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Alejandro Arellano (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Alejandro Arellano (No. 7) battles for possession with Jefferson Academy's Josiah Shehata (No. 13) on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Jefferson Academy's Chrisly Kelly-Cannon (No. 8) ...

    Jefferson Academy's Chrisly Kelly-Cannon (No. 8) collides with Centaurus High School's Vincent Renton (No. 6) as they battle for the ball on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Jefferson Academy's Jonah Elstad (No. 7) ...

    Jefferson Academy's Jonah Elstad (No. 7) collides with Centaurus High School's Kasey Minor (No. 4) on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Antoine Grenier (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Antoine Grenier (No. 12) maintains control of the ball against Jefferson Academy on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Brandon Fellow-Mason (No. ...

    Centaurus High School's Brandon Fellow-Mason (No. 17) battles with Jefferson Academy's Jayden Van Dam (No. 12) on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

  • Centaurus High School's Alejandro Arellano (No. ...

    Centaurus' Alejandro Arellano (No. 7) takes a shot on net against Jefferson Academy on Thursday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

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BROOMFIELD — Signaling a new era for Centaurus’ soccer program, the interim tag on David Wood was dropped this season as the departure of its longtime coach Lee Stanley became permanent.

The new-look Warriors, who are without a postseason victory since superstar forwards Fernando Ruiz and Christian Nunez were last with the program in 2019, truly believe they’re headed back in the right direction. Thursday night’s 2-1 victory on the road at Class 3A No. 1 Jefferson Academy was measured as another nice confidence boost.

“We’ve already had a couple wins and reason to feel confident,” Wood said. “But just one more feather in the cap (tonight) really makes us feel like we can do this.”

Alejandro Arellano scored the game-winning goal with 1:35 remaining after a series of nice saves from keeper Garrett Pugh, and the Warriors handed the Jaguars their first loss at home since March of 2020.

On the winning setup, Vincent Renton delivered a free kick in front of the net to Arellano. Positioned just left of the net, the senior captain took a touch off his chest and ripped a chance past keeper Josh Neely to help Centaurus improve to 3-2 on the season.

He was rushed by teammates then, and following the final whistle. One teammate later handed him a stack of cookies.

“I won them,” he smiled, noting his team is pretty sweet, too. “I think back then we had Christian and Fernando that were all-stars, and I think this team this year has a lot of good players. We all just work together and just try to succeed every day.”

Against the backdrop of a blinding orange sun’s last breaths above the mountains, Centaurus’s offense proved a ferry for chances throughout the opening minutes, finding success in the 13th as Sebastian Kemp scribbled his first goal of the season.

Kemp, who’d single-handedly seized control in front of the net, got his own rebound after banking his initial shot off Neely, then beat him into the opposite corner of the net. Senior Logan Johnson helped to respond, a runaway train for last year’s 3A runner-up in tying things in the 33rd.

Jefferson Academy's Jeremiah Davis (No. 10) ...
Jefferson Academy’s Jeremiah Davis (No. 10) battles with Centaurus’ Sebastian Kemp (No. 18) on Thursday. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

Beating Pugh, who earlier this season had three PK saves in a game, Johnson had powered through the last two defenders to bring him forward in the box. He found fellow-classmate Chrisly Kelly-Cannon streaking to his right, scoring on a wide-open net.

“I feel like the guys recognize we do a lot with not a huge roster,” JA coach Matt Cassell said. “But the feeling is good. We graduated seven guys from last year that were instrumental, but we have six of the best seniors around.”

Jefferson Academy (3-1) will play just once over the next 11 days, traveling to Standley Lake Tuesday.

Centaurus is at Steamboat Springs Saturday, then at home against Niwot Tuesday.

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