The "Sudbury Soccer Snapshot" is a weekly feature that is being presented courtesy of Martin Martic Dentistry. Each and every week, from May 1st through until the end of September, a weekly newsletter will be produced, covering off much of what is on the go in the world of competitive soccer locally.
As well, a recreational soccer "game of the week" will be highlighted, rotating between the various houseleagues that exist in and around Greater Sudbury. In the off-season, the newsletter will scale back to a bi-weekly feature, focusing heavily on the hundreds of young soccer players who shift to the indoor game as the fields become snow-covered for the winter.********************
Participating in one of the most evenly balanced divisions of the Huronia Soccer League, the Sudbury District Soccer Club Celtic U16 boys have put themselves in a position to win it all.
The squad captured two of three road encounters last week, bouncing back from a 3-2 loss to Huntsville with a 1-0 win over the same opponent, before travelling to Collingwood to secure a 2-1 victory a few days later.
Kevin Rojas and Noah LaSorsa found the back of the net in the opening game loss, with Rojas making good on a penalty kick in the rematch, scoring the game's only goal.
The Celtic shutout was recorded by Kiel Cress, receiving plenty of support from his center back and twin brother, Jacxsen Cress. Working with call-ups Josh Piché and Alex Cimino Tuesday night in Collingwood, the SDSC lads relied, once again, on the one-two offensive punch of LaSorsa and Rojas, picking up a key victory away from home.
Holding a five-point lead atop league standings, the locals are back on the road for a final three-game set, with the maximium nine points easily securing first place overall for coach Peter Trainor and company.********************
One half of the Dagostino Cup final is confirmed. With several key players away with training camps at both Laurentian and Cambrian, the GSSC (Greater Sudbury Soccer Club) Impact U21 Men scrambled their way to a 3-2 (8-7) semi-final win, on penalty kicks, over S.C. Italia.
The Impact were forced to play the affair one man down, falling behind 2-0 early as S.C. Italia stormed out to a lead courtesy of goals from Matteo Pesce and Jamaal Wilson.
Shawn Wilcox got one back before the half, catching a free kick from 23 yards out perfectly, and then tied up the score late when Nick Walker played a well-placed through ball.
Penalty kicks promised to be entertaining. With Impact keepers Evan Phillips (Cambrian) and Connor Vande Weghe (Laurentian) both busy with their school teams, the Impact inserted Akshay Varghese between the posts for the final 25 minutes of play.
"I was a little worried," admitted graduating senior Dexter St Jean. "I had a little faith in Akshay. I was told he was a pretty good penalty kick keeper, but maybe not much other than that."
And so he was. In a shootout that would see ten players from each team sent to the line, Varghese would come through with three key saves, as well as making good on his own kick to propel his team to victory.
The last Impact kicker to take part in the post regulation time festivities, prior to Varghese, St Jean relied upon some slightly dated experience in blasting home his tally.
"When I was in high school, I was our primary penalty kick taker," said St Jean. "But I haven't been a primary guy since high school, three or four years ago. I'm a little out of practice."
Not that the lapse of time changed his game-plan in the least. "It was exactly what I did in high school," noted St Jean. "I would always look to the bottom left corner, but I would always put it in the bottom right."
Coming off the strenuous demands of a U21 season in the OSL (Ontario Soccer League), the Impact were thankful for the opportunity to participate, along with the Open Men's teams, in the Dagostino Cup.
"It's not as demanding as our league play, and I'm thankful for that," said St Jean with a smile. "They're not as serious, and it's nice. It's very enjoyable." The remaining semi-final between Stack SC and the DQ Blizzards is set for August 30th, with the Cup final scheduled for September.********************
At Home: Impact U17-B vs Toronto Strikers - Sat., August 22nd - 1:00 p.m. at Delki Dozzi Sports Complex; vs Darlington Wanderers - Sun., August 23rd - 1:00 p.m. at Queen's Athletic Field
At Home: Impact U14-G vs Leaside - Sat., August 22nd - 1:00 p.m.; vs Whitby - Sun., August 23rd - 1:00 p.m. - both games at James Jerome (turf)
At Home: SDSC U14-B vs Huntsville (Sat at noon), Barrie White (Sat at 4:00 p.m.) and Collingwood (Sun at 3:00 p.m.) - all at Lionel Lalonde fields in Azilda
On the Road - Impact U14-B @ North York Cosmos (August 22nd) and S.C. Toronto (August 23rd)
On the Road - Impact U17-G @ Newmarket (August 22nd) and Oshawa Kicks (August 23rd)
On the Road - SDSC U16-B @ Huntsville (August 22nd), Bracebridge (August 22nd) and Collingwood (August 23rd)
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