(Oct 13th) – The U14 soccer team got its first opportunity to play on the ‘Oval’ against opponents Hillfield Strathallan College. It took some time for the Blues to adjust to their new surroundings but they would eventually settle in, establishing their passing game and largely dominating possession. Nick Reszetnik would open the account for UCC with a lovely strike from distance into the top right corner of the net. Lucas Fiorini, whose wizardy in the midfield throughout the game was a pleasure to watch, would add to the lead with a cooly delivered kick from just inside the 18 yard box. Jason Crooks would then add to the lead with an excellent free kick goal. By the half, Upper Canada had established a commanding 5-0 lead.
The second half was more of the same with the game tilted in favour of the Blues. Sebastian Jones and Jack Fejer split time in nets, and while they did not see a lot of action in terms of shots, they were active in passing the ball with the fullbacks to help UCC establish control of the game.
(Oct 14th) – In the return fixture at Hillfield, the Blues played on a much smaller pitch than the night before. Further, the grass terrain was both uneven and slightly chewed up. While overcast, the weather was balmy and ideal for soccer. Hillfield packed their own end in the first half and got off to a much better start then they had the previous evening. Skilled striker Jason Crooks would open the scoring when he slotted a ball from distance. Hillfield responded almost immediately with a counter punch strike to draw level, and UCC knew they were in for a much tougher match then the night before. Much of the rest of the half was one of frustration, as the Blues missed a number of golden opportunities, finding it difficult on the bumpy pitch to get accurate strikes on target. Andrew Rodrigues would eventually put the team ahead, and Jason Crooks once again showed his poise and skill on another quality strike. Eli Preston would finally be rewarded for all of his industry with a goal that the HSC keeper would liked to have had back, to give the Blues a 4-1 lead at the half.
The discussion at halftime focused on getting the team to use the width of the pitch more effectively, with the goal of breaking down the Trojans’s defence. For the most part, this was accomplished and UCC was able to dominate play. Justin Jamal would score a very pretty goal on a low strike to the left hand corner. Preston, Rodrigues and Nigel Radhakrishnan, with his first of the season, would round out the scoring. Although defenders rarely get the credit they deserve, it should be mentioned that Robbie Evans, Ben Ruthard, Vanaan Murugathas, Nick Reszetnik, and Nigel Radhakrishnan were all very good at the back end.
The U14s are back at it on Monday (Oct 16th) when they host Crescent School. They then head to St. Mike’s on Wednesday (Oct 18th) before earning a well-deserved break in what has been a crush of games in the schedule. With a first place finish and home field advantage in the playoffs well within grasp, the squad will have to remain focused and call on their depth to be successful.