Storm U14s win local tournament

Matthew Gourlie
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Local boys soccer team goes unbeaten at inaugural tournament

The first Moose Jaw Youth Soccer Tournament at YaraCentre concluded with a local team finishing on top.

Benjamin Bigireman from Grasslands FC, left, and Cal McGillis from the Moose Jaw Storm battle for a ball in the boys under-14 final at the Moose Jaw Youth Soccer Tournament Sunday at YaraCentre

The first Moose Jaw Youth Soccer Tournament at YaraCentre concluded with a local team finishing on top.

The Moose Jaw Storm under-14 boys team played the final game of the tournament and ensured that there would be a local champion in one of its five divisions when they beat Grasslands FC from Brooks, Alta. 3-0.

The tournament was played nine-on-nine on a half-sized pitch.

The Storm posted three wins and a tie in their preliminary group before winning the final.

“It was a good weekend. The boys played hard. We only had 11 players so we only had two subs all weekend. I know one of the boys was only on the bench for four minutes all weekend,” said Carmine Degirolamo, head coach of the U14 Storm.

Cal McGillis opened the scoring when he redirected a good free kick by Fanes Thul into the net. McGillis scored his second goal when he found some space to shoot and blasted a shot off the crossbar and into the goal.

At the other end, the Storm gave up a pair of dangerous free kick chances, but Ronald Nyeko Wat made a strong save on one chance, while the other went wide. Nyeko Wat also made two great diving saves in the second half to preserve his shutout.

“Ronald is the quietest goalie on earth, but he’s one of the better ones. He has cat-like reflexes and really good hand-eye co-ordination. He made some great saves. He was there for us,” said Degirolamo. “I can’t say enough about my defence. They were solid as a rock.”

McGillis hit the post in the second half, but Alex Degirolamo put the game away with a late goal on the counter attack for the Storm.

“I sat back and became a fan for most of this game. There wasn’t very much that I had to tell them. They knew what to do and how to play this game,” said Degirolamo. “They have a real offensive attitude. They get the ball up the field quickly and then get it into the corners and cross it in. They’ve all taken that and run with it.

The Storm out-scored their opponents 22-2 through the tournament. They tied the AC Pumas Red 1-1, beat Grasslands 6-0 in their first meeting, beat AC Pumas Yellow 7-1 and also beat Regina United Red Bulls 5-0.

The Storm began their season in November and have been busy despite not playing in a league.

“We’ve almost had more games than practices and that’s not really what you want to do,” said Degirolamo. “A lot of the Regina teams were coming here because their facility was closed and they would ask to play us and we did well.”

The Storm are looking to play in another tournament, but won’t play again until after Christmas. Their focus during the winter is on training and skill development, but given their successful start of the season they’re looking at taking part in the provincial six-on-six indoor championship in early 2014.

Moose Jaw’s under-12 Storm boys team also reached their final, but lost 3-2 to the Regina United Impact.

Julien Steinke and Adam Blatchford scored for the U12 Storm. Rohin Copila scored twice for the Impact and Cade Falconer had the other goal for Regina United.

In their pool the U12 Storm beat Moose Jaw Corinthians 2-1 and the Regina United Force 2-0, but lost 5-1 to the Impact.

Corinthians also beat the Force 1-0, but lost 4-2 to the Impact.

The under-12 Storm girls lost 10-0 to AC Tigres and 2-0 to Swift Current United.

The under-10 Storm boys beat AC Pumas Black 7-1, but lost 8-6 to AC Pumas Red and 6-2 to AC Pumas White as they failed to advance to the final from the pool.

In the girls under-12 final Unidad Premier beat Unidad 2000 1-0. In the girls under-14 final AC Tigres beat Swift Current United 4-0.

In the boys under-10 final AC Pumas Red beat AC Pumas White 2-1.

Organizations: Regina United Force 2

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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