KSC Boys U14 WRSL Kick-Off Cup Champions!, News (Kitchener Soccer Club)

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2019 Outdoor Boys Rep - U14 Boys A - KSC Boys U14 WRSL Kick-Off Cup Champions!
Submitted By Mark Rebellato on Monday, May 13, 2019
It was a weekend this team will remember for a long time to come as each member won their first WRSL Kick-Off Cup Championship in Tillsonburg,Ontario.  This determined bunch put the 2005 aged group of the Kitchener Soccer Club back on the map as force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season!  The following article is an outline of the weekend events.

Saturday May 11, 2019 set the stage with cool but sunny and a pleasant day for soccer as the U14 boys would start the tournament strong posting two shutout victories backed by Brandon Moniz; 1-0 and 2-0 against the Chatham Attack and London Alliance respectively.

The game against Chatham was our team's first on natural grass this year.  Tillsonburg hosted the event with nice green pitches, making the change from turf different but an agreeable adjustment for our the U14 Spirit.  In this game we controlled ball possession for nearly 70% of the match, and had many chances applying pressure but struggled to find the net.  Milos Koprivica would eventually find mesh on a fantastic pass from Mohammed Estanbouly.   When Chatham did control the ball, they were able to threaten on a couple of opportunities, but Moniz was able to keep the ball from crossing his line.  Post-game the team was addressed by coaches to ensure discipline with their depth and support of each other while defending in their zone to prevent giving up chances in our zone. 

In our second match we played familiar foes in the London Alliance group having played them in the winter league.  That said we had some insights on our competitors and in doing so we were confident on how to approach this match.  Again, we had the upper hand in possession, and we played a more disciplined game, by applying quick patient pressure and improved discipline on the defend side of the ball.  Filip Ratiu found the back of the net in the first half by re-acting quickly on amazing pressure applied by Naoto Yamada to put us up 1-0.  Later in the game, we managed to find the insurance marker through a nice ball down the right wing to from Filip Ratiu to Paul Rebellato who drew defenders out of place to get the cross to Milos for the easy marker.  This win assured us top spot in our group and a spot in the Semi Finals.

Sunday weather conditions were a different story to the previous day...cold, windy and rainy.  Fortunately for our squad we were well prepared for this weather having played exhibition games and the MacMaster tournament in similar conditions.  The Windsor TFC were our final competitors of the round robin.  Windsor was pretty much eliminated having lost and tied the previous day.  We did not play our best on this match, knowing it was of little consequence to us.  The idea was to put up a good fight and keep the bench fresh for the semis.  Even though Windsor outmatched us and had the upper hand in chances, Moniz battled to get his third straight clean sheet.  Oliver Hawley, fed Koprivica a brilliant through ball in the 2nd half, and that was all we needed to get by Windsor on this day having us finish 3W-0L with 4 GF and 0 against.  Gritty victories like this truly helped build character that we would be needed in our next two matches.

Semi Finals vs London Whitecaps
In the first half this was a hard-fought battle between the two teams.  Having won the coin toss, we chose to start with the wind head on.  We kept quite composed in the half battling hard and creating a couple of chances down in London's end.  Unfortunately, on a corner kick, London made a short pass to an unmarked player with a cross over which caught us off guard and we were down for the first time this tournament 1-0. The boys came in at the half a bit dissapointed but were reminded they would have the upper hand in the second half with the wind at their backs.  Right away we put that wind to work and created chance after chance.  London could not build any momentum as we just kept on going at them with pressure and shot after shot.  Finally, Ratiu re-acted to a loose ball and sent a rocket past the London keeper to get us even.  We then just kept at it, and finally the walls would break down on London as Cullen Derry would get another loose ball out in front and send a laser to the back of the net to pull us ahead 2-1.  This is all we would need on this day as London could not draw up any pressure and we were off to the finals against Waterloo.

Finals vs Waterloo United
The finals were a 70 minute match, the drizzling rain would not let up, we lost the coin toss and Waterloo would have us start with the wind at our backs.  Waterloo came out of the gates strong playing hard creating chances.  With great keeping by Moniz and good reaction by our defenders to get the ball out of our zone, we managed to stave off the pressure.  We finally woke up at about the 10th minute and started creating chances of our own. With the wind advantage, Paul would find Estanbouly in front, and he would do nothing but place it into the back of the net to get up 1-0 at the half.  Heading into the 2nd half with the lead we knew we would have to work hard.  Waterloo would eventually find the equalizer as we were not compact enough and creak one by Brandon.  The amazing thing was that did not deter us, we would match Waterloo play for play.  No doubt Brandon had to come up with great saves.  Our backfield led by Georgie Gorgiev, Luka Tripic, Nathan Williams, Nathaniel Unrau-Woelk played incredibly.  The composure was sound, and then the amazing happened where Yamada would find Koprivica later in the second half for an outstanding 4th marker of the tourney to pull us ahead 2-1.  We played resilient and tough the rest of the way and took home gold!

This was an amazing achievement from this group, all 17 players contributed to make this happen and now we are officially the team to beat for the upcoming 2019 season.  That means we will be marked, and teams will play us harder...but if we continue to train and work on our game, we will only get stronger!

Congratulations Kitchener Spirit U14 WRSL Boys, you are officially champions!

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