MONTESANO — It was hats off for Centralia as the Tigers defeated Montesano 3-2 in a non-league match at Jack Rottle Field on Tuesday.
A hat trick from Centralia sophomore forward Mario Silva was all the offense the Tigers would need to edge past the Bulldogs. Silva scored his first just four minutes into the first half and fired home the game-winner four minutes into the second half.
The Bulldogs (0-2-2) got both of their goals from junior Connor Parkinson and had plenty of chances to score late in the game, but couldn’t put home an equalizer.
With less than two minutes left in the contest, Montesano’s Riccardo Marangon chipped the ball over a defender and ran on, one-on-one with the Centralia goalkeeper from about 20 yards out.
Marangon blasted a kick from around 15 yards out and watched it bend back, but sail about a foot over the crossbar leaving the Bulldogs empty in their final scoring chance.
“We had a few guys out with injuries, so at the start of the game a few guys were out of position because they haven’t played (that position) yet,” Montesano head coach Rick Denholm said. “We got ourselves in a hole right to start and I think that was more guys just weren’t comfortable where they were at on the field. As the game went on, we got a little more comfortable. We had chances toward the end and just missed a couple good shots.”
Centralia controlled possession for most of the first half and capitalized on its first scoring chance. Silva took one touch and sent in a shot from the top of the box to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute.
In the 22nd minute, the Tigers added another goal when Johnathen Ruff connected on a cross to Silva, who chipped the ball in from about eight yards out.
Montesano got back into the game in the 33rd minute with a goal from Parkinson. The junior ran onto a through ball and fired a shot past the Centralia goalkeeper from 25 yards to make the score 2-1 going into halftime.
Centralia peppered Monte goalkeeper Michael Malpass early in the second half and Silva was able to place a ball just out of Malpass’ reach in the 44th minute.
Parkinson cut the margin back to one in the 52nd minute on a shot from 12 yards out. Parkinson lost the ball near the top of the box, but battled and got it back, dribbled on and beat the goalkeeper with a left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The Bulldogs chances to score inside 10 minutes left included a couple of empty crosses and ball bent into the corner of the net by Ben Lopez that was just tapped away by the keeper.
The Tigers looked to have scored an insurance goal when Ruff chipped in a cross, but it was ruled that Ruff was offside.
Denholm cited Malpass, who had not played in goal since his time on a U12 team, for his work as goalkeeper in for the injured Waymn Thoemmes.
Montesano will travel to Rochester on Thursday.