The Sarnia FC U11 Boys Premier team travelled to Niagara Falls to compete in the prestigious AC Douglas Soccer tournament over the weekend. This team has had great success this year in tournaments winning in Middlesex and reaching the finals in the Barrie All Star Challenge.
The first game of the day had Sarnia facing the Stouffville Mustangs (North Toronto). Sarnia would set the tone early and score first as Striker Mateo Troiani would blast the loose ball behind the Toronto keeper. Sarnia's defense would literally close the door not allowing Stouffville to penetrate in their end of the pitch. Two additional Sarnia goals were added by Strikers - Michael Howe and Ryan Janssens. The first game would end with Sarnia Keeper Andrew Harron notching the shutout in a 3 - 0 victory.
Sarnia would face Fort Erie in their second game of the day. Once again, the boys in Red came out hungry and dominated the first several minutes of action. With continuous pressure the boys would be rewarded as Sarnia striker Mateo Troiani would hammer a loose ball past the sprawling Erie keeper. Minutes later, left mid-fielder Nathan Hawkes would send a beautiful cross which found the head of a charging James (Jimmy) Brown who directed it into the back of the net. Ryan Janssens would add to the lead soon after as he sprinted on a breakaway and slid the ball in the left corner of the Erie goal. Kyle Flamminio would end the scoring as he would blast one in from 15 yards out! Final Score - Sarnia FC 4 - Erie 1.
Three hours later Sarnia would play their third game of the day vs. Port Colborne. You could tell from the onset that Sarnia was lacking the energy from their previous two games. Nevertheless, Sarnia would once again open the scoring. Centre-midfielder Kyle Flamminio would find a loose ball in the 18 yrd box and drive it home. Sarnia mid-fielder Nathan Hawkes would direct a nice cross to put Sarnia up by two. Strong play was observed from Sarnia in the second have as they seemed to get their legs back. Good defense would close out the game - evident from: Alex Newall, Christian D'Agostini, Dean Palimaka, Quinn Beauregard and Jack Hutchison. Andrew Harron would notch his second shut-out of the day in a 2 - 0 win.
On Sunday morning Sarnia would find themselves on top of their division and would crossover and play second place Pelham in the semi-finals. The Sarnia mid-fielders would play a huge part in this game as they controlled the center of the pitch allowing Sarnia to maintain continuous pressure. Great performance from mids: Tristen Konrad, Kyle Flamminio, Dominic Krasinkiewicz, Nathan Hawkes, Isaiah Edlington and James Brown. Sarnia would open the scoring early as striker Mateo Troiani would fire one home from a very difficult angle. Ryan Janssens would add to the tally as he blasted one by the Pelham keeper. Finally,Michael Howe would close out the scoring as he calmly dribbled past the keeper and placed the ball into the net. Both deference and solid goaltending would prove to be the factor in this game which found Sarnia advancing to the finals in another shut-out victory!
The Championship game would pit Sarnia against Welland in the battle of the undefeated teams. Welland would finish a top their division (as Sarnia) winning all four games they played. From the onset, you could tell that this was going to be a very defensive game. Both teams struggled to maintain pressure and obtain any shots on goal. Strong goaltending and defensive play would force this game into extra-time as the game would close out in a 0 - 0 draw. Two five min overtimes were added with the "golden-goal" rule applying. Sarnia would finally pressure Welland deep in their end and in the dying minutes of the second overtime they would be rewarded a cornerkick. Following the beautiful cross, a goal mouth scramble would ensue allowing for ample scoring opportunities however the Welland defense would clear the ball to half. A charging Sarnia defender, Jack Hutchison would fire the ball on goal from the half and ring one off the crossbar. That's how close Sarnia would come however as the final whistle blew to end the game. This one would be decided by Penalty Kicks. Unfortunately, Sarnia would fall short in the PK's with a 4 - 3 result. Scoring for Sarnia would be: Quinn Beauregard, Nathan Hawkes and Mateo Troiani. Solid in net was Andrew Harron making the big save when needed.
The Sarnia FC - U11 Premier team had a great tournament run this year. They had entered 3 tournaments winning one and finishing finalists in the other 2. Their overall tournament record stood at: 13 (Wins) and 2 (Losses - both in Finals). Coaches and parents were very 'proud' of the kids accomplishments and effort throughout the season! Well done Boys - you represented your city with pride!!!