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Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017
Nicholas Walker off to torrid scoring pace
by Randy Pascal

Nicholas Walker has never been known, in local competitive soccer circles, as a top-end scoring threat - until now, that is.

The Lockerby Composite graduate and long-time defender, both with the Vikings as well as the Cambrian Golden Shield, in more recent years, has now accounted for 80% of the goals that have been scored, this summer, by the GSSC (Greater Sudbury Soccer Club) U21 Impact men.

The locals opened the season in late May, benefitting from a forfeiture as the Phoenix Soccer Academy were unable to field a team that could make the trek to Sudbury. Heading south on the first weekend of June, the Impact started slowly, trailing 2-0 to Aurora FC and eventually dropping a 3-1 decision, as Walker netted his first goal of the year, courtesy of a penalty kick.

The northern lads again had trouble getting untracked the next day, spotting FC Durham Academy a 2-0 lead before storming back. Walker would get his head on a well-executed direct kick from Evan Stronach to cut the deficit in half, with Kristian Shuttleworth from Sault Ste Marie burying the equalizer following a dandy through ball from Brandon Moxam.

Nicholas Hechler earned the tie in net for the Impact, providing head coach Evan Phillips with a second straight solid effort from his keeper, with Connor Vande Weghe setting the tone some 24 hours earlier.

Back on the road for a second straight weekend, the Impact men recorded a second consecutive draw, as Walker again made good on a penalty kick. The call came courtesy of a nifty bit of ball-handling from Isaac Oliveira, from the wing, beating a defender wide before being taken down.

The 1-1 tie with Masters Football Academy also included some strong work from attacking midfielder Aidan Martel, the product of St Charles College. "He's making right decisions on both sides of the ball," noted coach Phillips.

"He's very fast, good with his feet, and is taking on defenders aggressively right now." The Impact would pay a price for their evening encounter, however, showing signs of fatigue come Sunday afernoon in a 2-1 loss to the Whitby Iroquois.

"The two games in about 17 hours hurt us, and we had a couple of costly mental lapses," suggested Phillips. Walker drilled home his third PK of the season, while Stronach, who will be suiting up with the Laurentian Voyageurs once again, come the fall, logged plenty of quality minutes over the course of the two-game set.

The Sudbury squad is back at home on Saturday (June 17th), hosting Barrie FC at the Cambrian College field, with start time set for 3:00 p.m.

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