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.********************
The GSSC (Greater Sudbury Soccer Club) Impact U18 Boys hosted a pair of games this past weekend, enduring something of a mirror-image homestand. On Saturday, the Impact spotted the visiting King United Royals a 3-0 first half lead, only to roar back on the strength of a hat-trick from Aidan Martel, posting a come-from-behind 5-3 win.
The tables were turned the next day, as Sporting FC from Toronto scored twice in the final ten minutes, earning a 3-3 draw with Sudbury. Entering the weekend with a record of 6-1-4, the GSSC crew were not as bad as the score might make it appear, in the opening 45 minutes versus the Royals.
“In the first half, we just got a little unlucky in the box,” noted veteran Brandon Moxam. “They got a few bounces, we had some mistimed tackles, and they put away a couple of penalty shots. We turned it around in the second half.” The U18 lads seemed to build on that momentum the next day, as Martel played a ball into tight quarters, where Kristian Shuttleworth spun quickly, to open the scoring in the 30th minute.
Things really opened up in the second half, as Matteo Lugarini capitalized on the height advantage that favoured the visitors, putting away the equalizer in the box in the 57th minute. Five minutes later, Sudbury had opened up a 3-1 lead, as Shuttleworth did a great job of fending off a Sporting defender, after Cameron Boland and Bryce McIntyre worked the ball upfield quickly, netting his second, followed quickly by a tally from Danish Butt, finishing off a long throw-in from Moxam.
With just over five minutes to play, Lugarini narrowed the lead to just a single goal. A wild sequence in front of the Sporting net would see the locals miss two to three glorious opportunities to put the game away, for good, in the 89th minute. That squandered chance would bite them in the butt, as Michael Rusage nailed a header in extra time, earning the visitors the draw.
A 5’9” speedster, who has manned the backline for the Impact this summer, Moxam understands just how challenging it can be to defend against opponents that tower in the box. “You try and put your biggest bodies on them, and if you still don’t match up height-wise, you try and outmuscle them in the air,” he said. “As you’re going up, shoulder to shoulder, it’s a fair ball, and you can out-body them that way.”
Moxam is set to join the Cambrian Golden Shield men’s soccer team after the Impact closes out their 2016 season with a visit to High Park (Toronto) this Saturday. Despite enjoying plenty of success at both the high school and CSL level, over the years, using his quickness to create and finish consistently, the St Benedict Bears product sees his next step forward as a sizeable one.
“I will need to play my hardest,” he said. “I know that I’m going to be going up against players that are a lot more skilled than I am, a lot better players altogether. I’ll need to work much harder than I ever have.”*********************
That mindset seems to have also been front and center with coach Maurice Feron and the Sudbury District Soccer Club (SDSC) U14 Royals girls. Competing in a combined Huronia District Soccer/York Simcoe Soccer loop this summer, the SDSC crew continued to plow their way through many opponents, especially those in the North Conference.
The Royals swept a pair of games from Collingwood United, blasting the visitors 8-0 on Saturday, and adding a 4-1 victory to the mix the next morning. Red-hot striker Allie Weiler maintained her stranglehold on the individual scoring race in the 15-team loop, scoring four times in game one, adding another in game two, and closing off the weekend with no less than 17 goals in 10 games for Sudbury.
Katie Chomiak chipped in with three markers in the offensive explosion, Aaliyah Robinson added one, while Haylee Lavigne (2) and Alexandra Baxter joined Weiler on the scoresheet on Sunday. “At the beginning of the year, we struggled a little bit, but we changed formations, and now we seem to get a full team effort, every game,” stated Feron.
With a record of 6-2-2, the Sudbury squad have all but secured one of the three divisional berths to play in one game showdowns on September 10th, with the winning teams earning the right to be promoted to the Central Girls Soccer League (CGSL) in 2017.
“We talked about it at the beginning of the summer, we would like to get up to CGSL,” said Feron. “We would have to travel a little bit more, but nothing so serious that the whole summer would be taken away. The girls are having fun, they’re winning, and hopefully the whole team would come back.”********************
One team that will endure some turnover next summer is the Sudbury (GSSC) Impact U21 Men, who dropped a 2-0 decision to the Kleinburg Nobleton SC Lions in their penultimate match Saturday in Sudbury. Nicholas Colaracchio and Christian Abosh handled the offense for the Lions.
A record of 2-7-5 can be somewhat misleading, as the loss opposite KNSC marked the first time this year that Sudbury had tasted defeat by a margin of two goals or more. Setbacks of 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 3-2, 1-0 and 1-0, mixed in with five draws, seem to lend credence to the competitiveness of the GSSC lads.
Yet in the eyes of head coach Andy Veilleux, this season had potential for so much more. “The core of my players battled hard all season, and gave everything they could for their teammates, but over half the team did not behave the same way,” said Veilleux. “I was more let down by players this year than I have ever been in my competitive coaching career, spanning over a decade.”
With age restrictions in place at the U21 level, the Impact team is expected to return only a handful of existing talent, hopefully adding a talented core from the U18 team with which we opened.********************
Closing out the weekend were the Sudbury District Soccer Club (SDSC) Rocks U15 Girls, who split a pair of games, edging Vaughan 3-2 before dropping a 5-0 decision to King United. Aliesha Spourdalakis showed the way on Saturday, scoring twice, with Ariane Saumure adding a strike of her own.********************
At Home: Sudbury (SDSC) Celtics U17-B vs Ajax - Sat., August 20th at 1:00 p.m.; vs Glen Shields - Sun., August 21st - 1:00 p.m. - both games at Queen's
At Home: Sudbury (SDSC) Rocks U15-G vs East York - Sun., August 21st - 1:00 p.m. at James Jerome Sports Complex
At Home: Sudbury (GSSC) Impact U18-B vs High Park - Sat., August 20th - 1:00 p.m. at James Jerome Sports Complex
On the Road - Sudbury (SDSC) Royals U14 Girls @ Bracebridge on August 20th
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