On Friday, October 27th, the U13A team faced the U13B team in the CISAA semifinal. In recent years, this fixture has been a hard fought battle between 2 solid teams and this year was no different.
The U13A team started the match with some solid positional play and quick ball movement. However, the boys were unsuccessful at breaking through a very organized and strong U13B team defense. The first half ended in a 0-0 tie with both teams scratching their heads in an effort to adjust their tactics for the second half.
The U13A team continued to enjoy a healthy amount of possession, but once again failed to create many outright scoring chances due to a very focussed and determined U13B squad who were determined to keep the ball away from their danger area.
Eventually, the match ended up going into overtime. In the 7th minute of extra time Aaron Ratnavel managed to find some space down the right wing and directed a beautiful cross toward the penalty dot. Olamide Dinah attacked the cross and without hesitation headed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net, earning the U13A team a hard fought victory over the U13B team.
This set up the U13A team to play the CISAA final against their crosstown rivals, Crescent School. Earlier in the year, the Blues lost to the Coyotes 1-0, but also managed to beat Crescent 3-0 during the CAIS National tournament in Victoria. Needless to say, everyone was anticipating another close match.
The Blues started their final in excellent form and saw Davey Seeman hit the crossbar within the first minute of play. This seemed to energize the Blues and give them an extra bounce in their step for the next 20mins or so. However, a hard working Crescent team handled the pressure well and slowly created some of their own chances leading up to halftime. Jesse Dale, the Blue’s keeper, was as focussed as ever and made easy work of collecting any balls sent into his box.
The second half saw Crescent come out strong and dictate most of the play for the first 15 mins. The Blues, however, slowly started to find more time in Crescent’s final third as the match progressed. With Crescent on their heals, the Blues executed 3 corners in a row but unfortunately could not find the back of the net despite Alex Janczewski consistently dropping the ball in Crescent’s danger area. Then, in approximately the 60th minute and on a quick counter attack, Crescent won their own corner. Taken very nicely, the ball found it’s way to the Blue’s goal line where a well positioned defender prevented a goal by unintentionally blocking the ball with his arm. However, Crescent were awarded a penalty kick and surprisingly the Blue’s also received a red card. Crescent scored on their penalty kick and as expected, it was difficult for the Blues to fight back while playing the remainder of the match short handed. In the end, Crescent earned a well deserved victory over the Blues and the CISAA Championship.
The coaches would like to mention how proud they are of the U13A team and how they represented UCC on and off the field throughout the season. The boys always battled hard until the very last whistle, always respected their opponents, and displayed some excellent soccer. The coaches would also like to sincerely thank the parents for their support.