Gents Capture First Conference Win, Defeats Valparaiso
Saturday, September 23, 2006

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Final Stats

Aaron Volanski scored two goals
in Saturday's win

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Three second-half goals led the Centenary men’s soccer team (2-7-0, 1-1-0 Mid-Con) to a 4-2 win over Valparaiso (5-4-0, 1-1-0 Mid-Con) Saturday at Mayo Field.

Tied 1-1 entering the second half, two second-half goals by junior Aaron Volanski (Magnolia, Texas/Memphis) helped the Gents capture their first conference win of the season.

Less than five minutes into the second half, Volanski carried the ball up the right flank. Beating his defender and cutting into the Valparaiso box, Volanski hit a heavy shot to the lower-right corner of the net, giving Centenary a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute.

Down a goal, senior Jon Brighton tied the game for the Crusaders in the 67th minute, breaking free to finish a loose ball inside the Centenary box.

Fighting to gain their first win in Mid-Continent Conference play, the Gents put together an impressive offensive sequence following Brighton’s game-tying tally, scoring two goals in less than three minutes to break away from Valparaiso.

In the 74th minute, freshman Sam Robinson (Houston/Cy-Fair) drove with the ball towards the Valparaiso net. With defenders on his sides and taking the ball with speed, Robinson hit a low shot towards freshman goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz in the Crusaders net, trying to just get the shot on net. Diving to make the stop on Robinson’s shot, the ball riccocheted off of Schwarz’s hands and rolled into the net, scoring the game-winning goal for the Gents.

Two minutes following Robinson’s goal, Volanski benefitted from a bit of good luck, running alone onto a deflected ball in front of the Valparaiso net. One-on-one with Schwarz, Volanski buried a shot under the crossbar to score his team-leading fourth goal of the season and seal the win for the Gents.

Also scoring for Centenary in the win was freshman Stephen Rifai (Spring, Texas/Klein), who scored his third goal of the season in the first half.

Ending a six-game losing streak, Centenary head coach Eric Mayo was pleased with the result in Saturday’s win.

"We needed this win just for our confidence," Mayo said. "We’ve been struggling with our confidence and we’ve been struggling playing as a team. A lot of things came together today."

Shots were in favor of Valparaiso, 13-8, in the contest.

Picking up the win and making three saves was Centenary junior James Speed (Corpus Christi, Texas/King), who stopped several shots by the Crusaders.

The Gents take a break from conference play, traveling to the University of Tulsa for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday.