As the sky grew darker as evening fell and as the wind picked up and the rain began to fall, the players stood at the midfield line and waited, as one-by-one went for the possible game-winning kick.
Players brought out the toques, mitts, sleeves and blankets as the Vanier Vikings and the Central Cyclones battled for gold in the high school boys soccer league final on Wednesday afternoon at Gutheridge Field.
The teams battled the wind and chilly temperatures to a 0-0 draw after regulation and overtime. After the extra time solved nothing, the players lined up for a shootout.
After five players from both teams kicked, it was tied once again, three goals apiece were scored. Devon Schweiger was the sixth kicker for Vanier and scored on Central’s keeper James Taylor-Booth. The next Cyclones kicker missed the net, resulting in the Vikings victory. The Vikings ran and jumped on Schweiger after he just helped Vanier win the game 1-0 and the gold medal in the inaugural league final.
“I am pretty happy,” he said after the goal. “It is pretty sweet, considering it is our first official season and to win the league, it is pretty special.”
After a season of physical contests and high scoring games between these two teams, it was a different style of game both teams tried to play.
“This feels fantastic. The guys worked very hard to put a couple of things together specifically and we managed to pull exactly what we wanted to see in the game against Central,” stated Jaysen Tomashewski, coach for Vanier. “Any of the adjustments we made for the game came to be. We managed to shut them down and that’s something we haven’t been able to do all season and it is a shame that is came down to a shootout, as we would have loved to win it in regulation. But it still comes down to a win for us.”
After an undefeated season on the pitch in league action, the Cyclones were left with a sour taste in the mouth after such a close game.
“Disappointing. I knew it was going to be very close, especially in this wind,” stated Mike DeCorby, head coach for the Cyclones. “At the end, we had a glorious opportunity to score and normally we do score. We had some excellent chances, but just couldn’t finish and we got punished for it.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.