Centennial, Orangeville to clash in senior soccer final
GUELPH – The Centennial Spartans will be after their first District 10 high school senior boys’ championship in six years when they tangle with the Orangeville Bears Tuesday.
The Bears will be looking to put an end to a 28-year championship drought as they last won the title in 1991.
Both advanced to the final with semifinal victories Thursday as Centennial slipped by the Ross Royals 3-2 at the Gryphon Soccer Complex and Orangeville downed the Centre Wellington Falcons 5-2 on Orangeville’s home field.
The Centennial-Ross match was a close one throughout although Centennial did get a two-goal lead early in the second.
“We expected that and we knew that Ross was going to be tough,” Centennial coach Rupesh Panday said. “It’s been a rivalry between Centennial and Ross for years and it feels nice to be on the other end of it.”
The win by the Spartans was Centennial’s first playoff victory over Ross since their championship-game win in 2013. The Royals defeated the Spartans in the championship match of 2014 and also in the semifinals in 2015.
The Royals and Spartans hadn’t met in the playoffs since that semifinal setback until Thursday’s match. However, the Spartans hadn’t had much playoff success in the last three years as they were ousted with a semifinal loss in 2016 and with quarter-final losses in 2017 and 2018.
While the rivalry with Ross is an intense one, it usually features hard-played matches that can be physical, but are usually clean. The chirping is usually at a minimum, too.
“It makes for a great soccer game so if you’re a fan of the game, you get to see a good game,” Panday said.
The Spartans scored the only goal of the first half when Angel Romero booted in a long shot about halfway through the half.
Centennial was gifted a goal three minutes into the second half when the Royals scored an own goal.
“That is unfortunate, but those are the bad breaks you sometimes catch and that’s just the nature of the game,” Panday said of the own goal. “We’ve had bad experiences before.”
Will Rodenburg got that one back for the Royals about a minute later.
Francisco Ortiz booted in the eventual game winner with a shot from the right wing that found its way to the opposite top corner of the net. That goal came 18 minutes into the second half.
Marwan Ala Rashi of Ross made sure it would be a tight battle to the end when he scored with a shot from about 15 yards straight out six minutes after Ortiz’s goal.
Andrew Paolucci led Orangeville to its semifinal win with a four-goal outing while Brayden Mortson scored the other goal.
Centre Wellington received goals from Luuk Vrins and Kelsi Mallany.
Time and location of the championship match have to be finalized.
Guelph CVI Green Gaels and Orangeville Bears grabbed spot in Tuesday’s junior final with semifinal victories Thursday.
The Gaels defeated the Centennial Spartans 3-1 at the Gryphon Soccer Complex while Orangeville blanked the Ross Royals 2-0 at Franchetto Park.
Quinn Moffit scored all three goals for GCVI while Oscar Kim had the lone goal for Centennial.
Sabastian Valenzano and Bradley Dutto connected for the goals for Orangeville in the other semifinal.
Time and location of the championship match have to be decided.
- Guelph Sports Journal