A total of 11 teams, including an entry from Huntsville, gathered last weekend at the Howard Armstrong Sports Complex in Hanmer, site of the SDSC (Sudbury District Sports Club) Adult Co-Ed Soccer Tournament.
When the dust settled on Sunday afternoon, it was Team “Big Rod” that had claimed the hardware, posting a 2-0 shutout in the final over Huntsville. In fact, the gold medal winning team did not surrender a goal against in five games over two days.
“I have a team that runs throughout the whole year,” noted player/coach/organizer Rod Kasunich. “We play futsal, we play outdoors together, we play in the fall. I just keep the same guys together. Fortunately this year, I was able to get a few more new people on the team, and they're all friends of each other.”
“I just started playing soccer maybe three or four years ago, and that's when I built my first team,” Kasunich added. “From that point on, we kept growing the team with friends of friends.”
Indicative of the level of play on this crew, and in the tournament in general, is the fact that “Big Rod” was led by a pair of former Laurentian Voyageurs in the form of Gab Rodrigues (“he has been the glue of the team for the past few years”) and keeper Mark Miehm (who played as a defender/midfielder in the OUA).
The eventual champions advanced to the final after blanking the SDSC Celtic 1-0 in a morning semi-final, while Huntsville triple BDU 3-1 in the remaining Sunday morning encounter. Celtic outlasted BDU 5-4 in the battle for third place.
As for the final, Kasunich was pleased with his team's performance against a very worthy opponent. "They came to win, they were aggressive, and very organized," he said. "They knew what they were doing. They were fantastic to play against."
The balance of the Big Rod roster is comprised of Daphne Gill, David Nwaokolo, Jhon Suarez, Joel Mengel, Shawn Wilcox, Bahaa Baz, Brandon Ade-Onojobi, Caleb Talebe, Celeste Rodrigues and Chris Barnett.