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Quality Inn - Sudbury
Mike Hennessy, Lawyer
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017
Soccer snippets from Sudbury and beyond
2017-08-05
by Randy Pascal

With as much soccer as is played in Sudbury in a typical summer, it’s always nice to devote a column or two simply to try and catch up, just a little, on the nuggets of information that are out there, as teams and leagues strut their stuff, locally and across the province.

The core of the team that once started as the “Sudbury Rocks Girls” squad continues to showcase their winning ways, returning recently as silver medal winners at the Eustace Collins Memorial Tournament in Georgetown.

The Northern Soccer Academy 16U Girls followed up a 1-1 tie with King United by posting victories over both the Georgetown Mustangs (4-0) and Sault Ste Marie (2-0), earning a berth in the tournament final. The crew from North Mississauga proved to be too much, in the end, blanking the NSA reps 3-0, as Sudbury settled for second place.

The 2017 edition of the NSA U16 team encompasses Ariane Saumure, Ashley Prince, Lexie McNamara, Eden Santi, Jacklyn Krueger, Mackenzie Watkins, Aliesha Spourdalakis, Cassidy Burton, Celeste Bond, Aysia Solomon, Tia Bariciak, Carli Hemsworth, Miranda Bilton-McLeod, Grace Cranston and McKenna Cresswell.

Meanwhile, the Northern Soccer Academy 16U boys upped their record to 6-2-2 on the year, registering a four game unbeaten string through July. The team received a nice confidence booster thanks to a 2-2 draw with Milton United FC, the top ranked team in the league, as Noah Carter and Lucas Oliveira tallied for Sudbury.

The NSA lads added another three points to their league total the next day, edging Chantilly Forever 4-3 as Carter added two more goals to his slate, with Oliveira and Sauro Majumdar rounding things off.

Even the absence of their regular keeper was not about to slow down the Northern express two weeks later, as Dren Edwards, Lucas Oliveira and Luca Nardi combined for the shutout in a 3-0 win over Lakeshore United. Carter (2) and Oliveira were again front and center in the Sudbury scoring parade.

Preparing for a much needed break to focus on practices and healing some bumps and bruises, the Academy reps closed out July with a hard fought 2-1 win over Atletico United, as markers from Carter and Majumdar offset a United strike courtesy of Johan Clavijo.

Both teams will not kick in to league play again until the weekend of August 19th and 20th, with the girls facing Rush Academy and London FA, while the boys take to the pitch opposite MUSC and Lions United.

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Competitive adult men’s soccer in Sudbury has faced some challenges in recent years, though it would be tough to fault the tandem of Tony Nuziale or Milton Lessis on the absence of an elite local loop in the area. Both avid soccer men have worked diligently to try and ensure that the leagues that were once the measuring stick of the sport in the Nickel City are restored to their former glory.

Most recently, Lessis and co-horts staged the first half of a four game Sudbury – North Bay challenge, one that is split between the more youthful adult players, as well as a highly engaged over 35 contingent in the two cities.

The top team in the Italia Flyers Men’s Recreational League, Buzzy Brown’s bested a North Bay premier all-star contingent by a final score of 6-1, with L.U. varsity member Cole Giffin leading the way with a two goal effort. David Nwaokolo, Dan Radu, Joel Cropp and Bosson Mian rounded out scoring for Sudbury, with Christian Celebre netting the only goal for the visitors.

The final score, according to the event organizer, might be a tad deceiving. “Home field was true home field advantage,” said Lessis. “North Bay made the trip missing about four of their top gun players, mostly due to injuries. It’s harder to get commitment for road trips than it is for games right in our own backyard.”

Where game one may have lacked in drama, the nightcap kept fans on hand riveted as Bobby McKinty scored twice, lifting the Sudbury over 35 crew to a 2-1 win over their similarly aged opponents from North Bay. “The players have to be 35 or older, but the average age was closer to 40 to 43 for the Northern Masters Cup game,” said Lessis.

“We’re at the stage now where we have communications on-going with teams from Sault Ste Marie and Huntsville. We would like to get more teams involved, ideally at least four different cities, possibly Timmins, maybe Elliot Lake, and make it a true Northern Masters Cup,” added Lessis.

The back end of the home and home set goes August 12th in North Bay. In the meantime, the local over 40 league has introduced a fundraising partnership whereby a twoonie will be donated, by the group, for every goal that is scored in their circuit over the course of the summer.

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In Central Soccer League play last weekend, the Sudbury District Soccer Club (SDSC) U18 Celtics recorded a huge win, blanking Port Hope 2-0 on goals from Noah Lasorsa and Martin Bulic, with Kiel Cress registering a clean slate in net.

The victory bettered the Celtics’ record to 3-5-1 (10 points), just one point back of both Aurora and King City. Port Hope, meanwhile, holds down fourth place in the 13 team loop, completing their season at 6-5-1.

The Sudbury crew will complete their summer schedule with games against Peterborough (6-4-0) this coming Monday on the road, returning home to host Collingwood (1-8-2) and Pickering (4-5-1) next weekend.

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