Patriots get a kick out of OFSAA berth
The Saint Paul Patriots finally figured out how to win on penalty kicks.
The Patriots captured the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) boys AA soccer championship Thursday with a 4-3 win over the Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs in an epic battle settled by penalty shots.
“The boys were here last year at OFSAA (Ontario Secondary School Associations) and we lost two games in penalty kicks and in other tournaments we lost in penalty kicks,” Pats coach Aldo Seca said. “We kept telling the boys our luck would turn. We kept practising them and practising them and today was our lucky day and we got there.”
Stefan Candeloro had two goals and Mateo Gruosso one in regulation time for Saint Paul.
Sandro Elia, Cristiano Colamartinti, Dante DeBenedetti and Lucas Vetere, with the winner, scored on penalty kicks.
“That was a blast,” Candeloro said. “It was something special. We’ve never won at penalties before so this was probably the most fun I’ve ever been involved with at Saint Paul.”
Following a furious 80 minutes of regulation time that saw the teams exchange six goals, both squads had ample opportunities to win in overtime, but could not bury the winner.
“It was extremely difficult,” Candeloro said. “It was not easy at all but we wanted it more than them I think. “The team came together and we got it done.”
Demitriy Klapchuk had two goals and Fadell Sore one for SWC in regulation.
Lebron Owusu, Demitriy Klapchuk and Reney Merone scored on penalty kicks.
“Super proud of the guys with the conditions — it was hot and they were exhausted — they gave their hearts and left everything on the field,” Sir Winston coach David Kamatovic said. “They say the worst way to lose is on penalty kicks.”
Both teams qualify for OFSAA which will be held next week in Bradford.
The Pats have one goal in mind.
“Gold medal,” Seca said. “We have the team that can do it.
“We’ve had a very good season. A couple of little hiccups here and there but it was a very successful season and we lost in the championship of two tournaments.”
Kamatovic indicated the Bulldogs aren’t simply happy to be going to OFSAA.
“I think we can compete. We have the skill, we have the talent, we have the guys. We’ll just wait and see what competition is ahead,” he said.
The Patriots topped Westlane 3-0 in the semifinals on goals by DeBenedetti, Gruosso and Vetere.
Sir Winston blanked Dundas Valley 5-0 in the semifinal.
Klapchuk had two goals while Matthew Taubeneck, Jacob Montoya and Sore added singles.
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