It was a long shot, they knew. But they were here and they weren’t about to let the opportunity slip away.
North Coast Roofing (NCR), the blue-clad team that went winless in the regular season found themselves in the under-15 Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association’s (PRYSA) boys’ final thanks to wins and superb defensive play in the playoffs last Friday night.
It was a classic case of getting hot at the right time, and the boys were up against Cook’s Jewellers, the powerhouse squad of the division, featuring the slippery Daniel Page, a standout forward who usually pots at least one or two goals before the night is out.
An unexpected strike from Tyler Morven late in the first half and an insurance marker from Jared Swan with 10 minutes remaining helped lift NCR over Cook’s and complete David’s story over Goliath.
“We didn’t really win any games this season,” said shutout-earner and NCR goalkeeper Josh Reniero.
“But then we just came back [these playoffs] with two games and no goals scored on [us] at all.”
Reniero took the reins in net mid-season.
“We started losing games so I thought, ‘Hey, might as well help out, stop a little more goals.'”
The keeper repeatedly stoned Page and the attackers Cook’s sent his way, including a number of breakaways.
“When they’re coming down [the field] it’s kind of nervous because you don’t know what’s going to happen like that one shot Daniel kicked at me [that led to a scramble],” said Reniero.
On that drive, Page launched a shot straight at the keeper, who got a piece of it, but left a juicy rebound in front of the net, but Reniero’s defenders cleared the ball from the crease.
Morven’s strike came after 20 minutes of sustained Cook’s pressure, surprising everyone at Patullo Field, tilting the score 1-0 in favour of NCR.
Swan’s goal came off a sound individual effort to get the ball to the net to afford a shot. He launched it high over Cook’s leaping keeper to finalize the score, 2-0 and win the league title for NCR.
NCR’s Kevin Winther helped out late by blocking a blast that had eyes for the back of the net.
Last Wednesday, Remax defeated Farwest 4-1 to take the under-15 PRYSA girls’ youth soccer title. A 2-1 lead before the half-time whistle was all the scoring Remax needed before potting two more in the second half.