Pats awarded antique bronze
The Saint Paul Patriots came away with a medal at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations boys AA soccer championships in Walkerton, although, it wasn’t their colour of choice.
The Patriots earned an antique bronze after dropping a 3-2 decision on penalty kicks to École Secondaire Publique Louis-Riel in the bronze medal game.
“It was a team we knew had the potential to medal at OFSAA, it was just a matter of what medal you get and how the ball rolls for you,” Patriots coach Aldo Seca said. “The boys played with such passion and heart and it was tough to lose the way we did.
“They left everything in Walkerton and should be proud of their accomplishments.”
The Pats went 3-0 in pool play before advancing to the quarter-finals where they defeated host Sacred Heart 3-0. In the semifinals, the Patriots lost to Mother Teresa of London on penalty kicks in game that saw Saint Paul take a 2-0 lead, fall behind 3-2, and then rally to tie the game 3-3.
“It was a great tournament,” Seca said. “When you get down to the semifinals and your top four teams, it basically can go either way. All four teams are very strong. I’ve been to OFSAA a number of times and you need an element of luck at that level and unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side that day.”
The semifinal game took eight penalty kicks before a winner was decided.
“In penalty shots it’s a 50/50 chance on the player and the goalie,” Seca said. “They were pretty upset just because the taste of gold and silver was so close, but unfortunately the ball just didn’t bounce our way.
“You feel bad for the boys, but in reality it’s not their fault.”
The Patriots had a remarkable season playing 21 games without losing in regulation.
“It was a very successful season,” Seca said. “It was just a great group of kids who bonded so well together on and off the field. Some of them play club ball together which makes the transition to high school ball pretty easy for us coaches.”
Seca indicated the core of the team is eligible to return.
“We have a good core coming back. We had three 12Bs that helped us obviously but our core is Grade 11s.”
Members of the Patriots are: Stefan Candeloro, Lucas Vetere, Christian Folino, Johnny Graovaz, Dante DeBenedetti, Sandro Elia, Matthew Palumbi, Matteo Gruosso, Matthew Stranges, Elijah Cardamone, Owain Mayer, Anthony Heyes, Cristiano Colarmartini, Richarde Twinkle, Jarred D’Addio, Guy Manco, Jacob Jackson, Nick DiPaola, Matteo DeBenedetti, Daniel Szufranowicz.
Seca, Julio Candeloro and Andrew Baldin were the coaches.
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