COLORADO SPRINGS — A winning goal can come can at any time during a soccer game, whether it’s the first or last minute of the game.
For the No. 26-seeded Centaurus Warriors, it came in the last thirty seconds of their Class 4A boys soccer second round game.
Senior Christian Nunez led Centaurus past No. 10 Discovery Canyon with goals in the 53rd and 80th minutes. The setup for both goals were extremely similar as Nunez dribbled past multiple defenders before launching a bullet past the goalkeeper. The Warriors won, 2-1.
“Since the beginning, we knew it was going to be a tough game and we just put everything out there,” said Nunez.
After Nunez gave Centaurus the lead, Discovery Canyon answered back in the 74th minute, off of a header from junior Hunter Lindell.
Minutes later, Nunez stunned the crowd with his second of the night.
“We scored a goal and we got motivated, and we let them have one,” said Nunez. “We kept our heads up and kept going for it and we had one at the end.”
“He is a special talent,” said Warriors head coach Lee Stanley. “He has ball skills (and) vision that you don’t really see much in high school kids. He has vision beyond his years (and) he can hold onto the ball under pressure from several players.
“He is absolutely a special talent and we haven’t seen a player like him in years.”
Centaurus dominated possession early for most of the first half but failed to get on the scoresheet.
Centaurus goalkeeper Parker Sanchez and Discovery Canyon goalkeeper Seth Lawrence matched each other save for save as Sanchez had a spectacular sprawling save off a Thunder free kick while Lawrence had a great save on a 1-on-1 chance minutes later.
“I think we actually possessed better in the first half,” said Stanley. “We changed and became a little bit more direct during the second half instead of working the ball as much through the midfield. We tried to back off the defenders by being a little more direct.”
Discovery Canyon had a chance to take the lead in the 67th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick, but the shot went off the crossbar before going out of bounds.
“We scored with thirty seconds left on the clock and Discovery Canyon had a goal scored five minutes before that,” said Stanley. “If we put our heads down and feel sorry for ourselves from that goal, it could have gone the other way but (we fought) hard until the end and (got) it with thirty seconds left.”
“(We) didn’t want to go to overtime,” said Nunez. “We’ve been in overtime in other situations (and) hasn’t gone right. (We) had to end it whenever we had the chance to and that’s what we did.”