Senior Boys Developmental
The Senior boys developmental team came up just short in Colonist Shield semi-final action, going down 2-1 to favoured St. Andrew’s.
As had been the case in the regular season match-up between the teams, the home side enjoyed a lot of early possession in the SMUS half of the field. Eventually, the pressure took its toll, as a powerful drive into the roof of the net made the score 1-0.
Not to be outdone, SMUS bounced back, and, after Warren Marriott beat the keeper only to be denied by the woodwork, Saeed Shokoya evened accounts by outmaneuvering three defenders before unleashing his own blistering shot from outside the penalty area.
Late on, the game then swung on a piece of superb individual control, with the St. Andrew’s striker taking a cross on his chest, swiveling and then volleying behind goalie Harrison Giles.
Forward Matt Shin had one last-minute chance to send the match to extra time, but was thwarted by a fine save.
So ends what has been a very successful and enjoyable season, with a number of the players perhaps bound for a playoff run with the other SMUS team.
At the Junior boys level, the season also came to close, with both the city and Island tournaments being completed in a tight, eight day time frame.
The city event featured a semi-final, on turf at Lochside Park, against Claremont. A couple of defensive mistakes cost SMUS dearly as the Spartans prevailed 3-1.
The subsequent bronze medal match versus GNS was a close run thing: while goals from Alec Keech, Moritz Henke and Joe Johnson staked the Blue Jags to a 3-0 lead heading into the final quarter, they were almost not enough. The visiting Gryphons kept chipping away, scoring twice and pressing hard for the equalizer. Fortunately, the final whistle confirmed a 3-2 SMUS victory and a place in the Island Tournament as the South #3 seed.
At the Islands, played in Mill Bay, Ben Edwards pulled SMUS back to level terms with an early second-half goal versus Kwalikum. Unfortunately, a last-minute Condors marker condemned SMUS to a deflating 2-1 pool loss.
The second game of the day, again versus Claremont, was tied 1-1 for the longest time, before the top seeds broke through for three goals in a ten minute span. Nonetheless, in the final seconds, Jasper Johnston connected on a breakaway chance, and, while the game ended 4-2, this tally would go on to have significance the following morning.
Indeed, after completing pool play with a 0-0 draw against Brentwood, the Johnston effort the previous day sent SMUS through on goal average to the tournament consolation final. In this game, the team finished on a high, performing extremely well in claiming a 3-1 win versus Dover Bay.