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Top two still looking strong in SDSSAA Senior Boys Premier Soccer

The SDSSAA Soccer final four for both Senior Boys Premier and Girls Open Premier are now finalized, with the lads having contested their 'quarter-final matches on Tuesady and with semi-final play set to monopolize the turf at the James Jerome Sports Complex throughout the day on Friday.

The top two finishers looked more than comfortable in their role as front-runners as the St Charles College Cardinals downed the Horizon Aigles 6-1 while the Lo-Ellen Park Knights matched that score in eliminating the Lockerby Vikings from championship contention.

Nathan Cranston paced the Cards with a hat-trick with Manzo Shimizu, Roy Solarin and Jack Gouchie scoring one goal each while the Knights' offense featured the likes of Maliq Olanrewaju (2), Adam Bilgasem, Malcolm Teddy, Massimo Grossi and Andre Sousa.

Things were decidedly more interesting in the final two games as the St Benedict Bears rode strikes from Donald Munyua and Paolo Grossi to a 2-1 victory over the Lasalle Lancers (Dash Kamal) while Confederation Chargers’ keeper Logan Carr kept things clean as his end of the pitch, supported with tallies from Braydon Ethier-Perras and Max Aziz, blanking the Bishop Carter Gators 2-0 in the process.

Although he was held off the scoresheet on Tuesday, Bears' freshman and GSSC veteran Dylan Nelson has made his presence felt more often than not this spring, even as he adjusts to the age gap that comes part and parcel of high-school soccer.

"It's pretty physical, but it's fun to compete with the older players," said the 14 year old multi-sport athlete who picked up a silver medal in the novice boys 200m dash Thursday at the city track & field championships.

"I try not to alter my game, I try not to worry about it too much and just use my speed to get around guys," Nelson added.

A striker when he suits up with the Impact, Nelson defers to Grossi at the top of the formation for the Bears, making the move over to the wings and getting a chance to showcase one of his attributes that sometimes lay hidden.

"I love crossing the ball," said Nelson. "It's fun and I find that I am really good at it and it's something you can't really do as much as a striker."

As has so often been the case this spring at the James Jerome Complex, the wind definitely impacted the contest, with St Benedict's scoring twice with the wind at their back (first half) and Lasalle answering late in the game on a penalty kick.

It's something that Nelson feels his team can contend with, as long as they are aware. "I don't think it's a big adjustment," he said. "You just don't put the ball in the air as much (against the wind) and you have to know that the other team won't be able to put the ball in the air as much either when they are going against the wind."

"Knowing how to read the wind is the most important thing."

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