Centennial’s boys soccer seemed just about out of opportunities Wednesday.
Enter Kevin Rogge.
The Bulldogs senior converted a crisp three-way passing play for a tiebreaking goal with eight minutes remaining to lift host Centennial past Cimarron-Memorial 3-2 in a battle for first place in the Northwest League.
Centennial is 5-0 in league play. Cimarron fell to 3-1-1.
“We expected it to be very close,” Bulldogs coach Tommy Porrello said. “We were fortunate to create enough opportunities to win.”
After the Spartans forced Centennial goalkeeper Tyler McAninch to make five saves in the span of 15 minutes, including robbing Ben Schultz after he got behind the defense, the Bulldogs moved the ball deep into Cimarron territory on the left side.
Isaac Ramirez sent a pass across to the right of the goal. Oscar Moran redirected the ball to Rogge, who moved in on the left side.
Rogge buried a low shot inside the left post before Spartans goalkeeper Alex Ramirez could react.
“It was perfect,” Rogge said. “Oscar saw me right there. We knew we had to get a goal. If we didn’t win, they would have been in first place.”
The Spartans had only one more shot — a drive from 25 yards out — the remainder of the match.
“We put up a great fight. We were kind of unlucky on some of our shots,” Cimarron coach Debbie Antonino-Hunt said.
But before that, the Spartans, who twice rallied from a one-goal deficit, appeared set to take over the top spot in the division.
Cimarron’s Agustin Gamboa had his shot from 15 yards out deflected on net. Two minutes later, Edgar Nava sprung Schultz free, but Schultz appeared to be bumped just as he fired a shot.
“They played very well,” Porrello said. “We never felt comfortable.”
The Spartans managed only one shot on goal in the first half — a penalty-kick goal by Nava — and tied the match early in the second half when Nava’s corner kick was inadvertently directed into the goal by a Centennial defender.
Rogge spotted the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead when he scored in the second minute of the match, converting on a long lead pass from Joey Porrello.
Nava tied the match 10 minutes later, scoring on a penalty kick after he was fouled in the box.
Centennial reclaimed the lead late in the first half when Isaac Ramirez won a battle for a loose ball in the box and fed Matt Kurtz alone on the right side.
The Bulldogs had two golden opportunities to score in the first 10 minutes of the second half but misfired twice.