By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WOODSTOCK -- Central was missing four of its players, including three starters, but that didn't slow the Falcons down on Thursday night.
A late first-half goal gave Central some momentum and the Falcons pulled away with a 5-0 Bull Run District boys soccer victory over Rappahannock County.
"Our team is very diverse," Central junior Franklin Hernandez said. "Any player can play any position and do it well. If we have one player missing, someone else can fill in. We're a complete team."
Hernandez was one of the players playing at a different spot. He moved from midfielder to forward in place of Central's leading scorer Taishi Ukai, who was out of town.
Hernandez said it was the first time he played at forward since his freshman year, and even though he prefers getting assists as a midfielder, he said he really wanted to score a goal. He missed several shots in the first half, which made his second-half goal on an assist from Eric Ventura that much sweeter.
"I've been working for that goal the whole entire season. I finally got it," Hernandez said. "It was very frustrating [in the first half]. That keeper did very well, blocking a couple of shots that I had. I'm glad the coaches taught me how to shoot well, and I got my goal."
Hernandez's goal put the Falcons up 3-0, but it was two goals by Tyler Bosserman that got the Falcons started.
Central had 16 shots in the first half, but the Falcons (6-2-2) weren't able to score until the final shot. Bosserman scored with only 37.4 seconds left in the first half.
"I saw Eri [Dominguez] split the two defenders, and I just wanted to get a goal before halftime -- put us up by one leading into the second half," Bosserman said.
Bosserman struck again just 18 seconds into the second half. Rappahannock County goalkeeper Charles Estes bobbled the ball as he made a save and Bosserman tapped it in to put Central up 2-0.
"That was an important time to get a goal. You get a goal before halftime it can be a back-breaker," Central coach Ted Poor said. "Then we scored on that unfortunate mistake by the keeper right at the beginning of the second half, and now [Rappahannock is] down 2-0."
Central's Julian Higgs scored with 11 minutes left, and Tyler Ferrero finished the scoring on an assist from Hernandez with 6:31 remaining.
"With the style that we try to play, keep the possession, move the ball around, it tires the other team out," Poor said. "I think they got pretty tired. This is a big field. I love this field. It's a great place to play. It's the way soccer should be played."
Central dominated possession throughout, and outshot the Panthers, 28-3.
The Falcons are currently in third place in the Bull Run District and have high hopes for what they can accomplish this season.
"I think the sky's the limit for us," Bosserman said. "As long as we play our game and play like we know how to play, I think we can go anywhere we want to."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd