The Sarnia FC (Chelsea) U10's competed in their final tournament of the season - the Woolrich Invitational. They would be placed in the biggest division of the tournament competing with 11 other teams. The boys have had strong showings in the previous three tournaments but could never advance beyond the semi-finals. The kids were anxious to play looking to improve on that fact!
Sarnia Chelsea would face the Guelph B team in their first match of the day. Sarnia came out flying and pressed early seeking the opening goal. Minutes into the game, striker Ryan Janssens would answer the call as he rifled the ball into the left corner of the Guelph net. The Royals would settle down and eventually score two quick goals. Before the end of the first half, Sarnia striker Mateo Troiani would chip the perfect lob over an aggressive Guelph goalie to even the match at 2's heading into the break. Guelph would storm out in the second half and gain a two goal lead with time quickly running out. Sarnia Chelsea would regroup and begin to show their resilience and grit to mount the comeback. AP player Nathan Hawkes, would bring Sarnia within one as he pounded on the loose ball inside the penalty area which eluded the Royals keeper. With time running out Sarnia pressed defiantly looking for the equalizer. Continued pressure allowed great scoring opportunities. Chelsea mid-fielder Kyle Flamminio, would not disappoint teammates as he fired an errand rebound into the corner of the Guelph net to deadlock the game at 4's. Sarnia would earn the tie in game one.
Final Score Sarnia FC Chelsea 4 - Guelph Royals B 4.
The second game of the tournament found Sarnia FC facing the Waterloo Selects. As there were only 3 teams in each pool, Sarnia needed a win to advance to the semi-finals. Waterloo would set the pace early and fire out strong scoring the opening goal. As the game drew on, Sarnia would play with high intensity and eventually shut down the opposition. Strong defensive play was evident by all Chelsea defenders. Leading the defence were Dean Palimaka, Alex Newall, Christian D'Agostini and Nathan Hawkes. Sarnia would finally get on the scoreboard in the dying minutes of the first half when striker, Ryan Janssens dribbled his way around the defence, sending the perfect cross which found the foot of James Brown, who directed it into the Waterloo net. The teams would be tied 1 - 1 at the half. The second opened up with the same intensity. Both teams were desperate in gaining the advancing goal. Half way through the second Waterloo would strike and gained the one goal lead. That goal seemed to satisfy the team as they relegated to play defence the remaining minutes of the game. Sarnia FC would once more fight back and prove their fortitude. Ryan Janssens would tie the game on a thunderous shot from outside the box to give his team a chance to win. With the final seconds closing down Sarnia continued to press and would be rewarded with a free kick outside the goal area, resulting from the Waterloo defender taking down a Sarnia forward. Striker Mateo Troiani would be called on to take the kick. He quickly set the ball and hammered in the shot to the left opening of the Waterloo goal sending jubilation throughout the Sarnia bench. The final whistle blew seconds later, closing out the game, advancing Sarnia once again to the semi-finals.
Final Score : Sarnia FC (Chelsea) 3 - Waterloo Selects 2.
Sarnia FC Chelsea would once again make it to the semi-finals as they placed first in their pool. Their opponents would be the winners of Pool B - the Guelph Royals 'A' team. Chelsea would play their third game of the day within a five hour span. The boys came out hungry and maintained pressure early in the Guelph end. Sarnia striker Mateo Troiani would open the scoring as he fired a loose ball behind the Royal's keeper. Guelph would re-group and reply with two goals of their own. Chelsea would climb back within one as forward Ryan Janssens would be rewarded with a penalty shot. Janssens, once again would not disappoint as he lasered a line drive over the Guelph keeper. The boys went into halftime trailing by one. Guelph came out flying in the second and scored two additional goals taking a commanding 3 goal lead. A little too much for Sarnia this day as they would only get one more goal. Mid-fielder James Brown fired a corner kick into the net to bring his team within two. Many missed opportunities as well a some hit crossbars were encountered leaving Chelsea short at the final whistle. All the boys played extremely well to cap off another successful tournament. Coaches and parents were very proud of their accomplishments!
Final Score: Sarnia FC (Chelsea) 3 - Guelph Royals 'A' 5 .