Junior Boys Soccer: Jags Ride the Storm

ISAChamps

There are lots of full resolution images from Sunday’s final available for viewing and download in our photo gallery. Thanks to Jasper Johnston for sending in the team photo.

The SMUS Junior boys soccer team hosted the Independent Schools Association Tournament (September 27-28) and, following a whole series of very competitive matches played in extreme weather, continued its fine early season form by capturing the title.

The event opened in windy but dry conditions, with the Blue Jags shaking off a slow start to defeat Shawnigan 2-0. Co-captains Hari Ikonomou and Alec Keech led by example, with each notching a goal. At the back, and in what became a tournament theme, Morita Henke, Jasper Johnston, Ben Keep and Jamison Schulz-Franco played very sound defence in support of goalkeeper Jasper Bosley.

An afternoon match vs St. George’s produced more of the same. Ikonomou and Keep opened proceedings before Loris Friedli and Felix Butterfield connected after the break in a 4-0 victory.

The two wins set up a semi-final vs crosstown rival GNS. No quarter was sought or given by either side, in what became a physical encounter. SMUS took a 1-0 lead when a Ben Edwards free kick was headed home by Ikonomou but the visitors countered with an almost identical marker less than five minutes later.

After more even play in the second half, the introduction of Butterfield from the reserve bench proved decisive. In short order, the winger blasted home an absolute rocket from 20 meters, and, for good measure, followed up with another strike just before full time. In the interim, Bosley contributed some timely saves as SMUS ran out 3-1 winners.

The final, against Brentwood, was another well balanced contest. Hours of torrential rain meant the field conditions had become increasingly treacherous. Indeed, SMUS was somewhat fortunate to take an early lead via an opposition own goal. However, Ikonomou, who scored in every match, then extended the lead via an accurate strike from the edge of the penalty area.

2-0 SMUS it stayed for the duration of the match. Bosley recorded another clean sheet as a tired, wet, happy group secured the gold medal.

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