A Tier II Ontario Cup soccer championship for a Sudbury-based team moved one step closer to reality this past weekend. The Sudbury Athletic U-15 boys defeated the Barrie Spirit U-15 boys in a shootout as Cup semi-final action took place at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough.
Despite the artificial turf being slick from a full night of rain, both teams were passing well, which made for a fast-paced first half that ended with the teams tied at one. Barrie had scored early before Jesse Johnson drilled the equalizer on an excellent pass from Liam Doyle to even things shortly before the break.
Daniel Scola scored for Sudbury Athletic early in the second half and Jake MacTaggart added another, making it 3-1 Sudbury, with both goals being finished from Jesse Johnson passes. But Barrie fought back, scoring two goals of their own as a final score of 3-3 at the end of regulation sent the game into penalty kicks.
Sudbury goaltender Connor Griffiths once again was outstanding for the Athletic during penalty shots, making a nice diving save on the second Barrie shot. All five of the local shooters went on to score, with Griffiths calmly potting the winning goal on the final shot to aid his own cause.
Emerson Carniel, Jesse Johnson, Daniel Scola and Joe Lucciantonio were the other Sudbury Athletic marksmen who found the back of the net in the extra session. Also contributing to this total team effort for Sudbury Athletic were Spencer Moore, Keegan Pitre, Ian Bailey, Sven Trodel, Brandon Vocaturo, Damjan Peric, Conor Blayney and Kari Hytti.
The coaching staff of Jeff Vaillancourt, Dieter Trodel and John Carniel along with manager Dan Moore are extremely proud of the U-15 lads and look forward to another great effort in the finals. The Sudbury Athletic now move on to play the Richmond Hill Raiders in the Ontario Cup championship game at the Soccer Center in Vaughn on Saturday, September 19th.