When things come together better than planned, it’s magical.
For the Burnaby District metro boys under-13 United, the Coastal Cup run has seen its share of rabbits pulled out of a hat.
It didn’t take any sleight-of-hand moments to get the desired result last Saturday, as United captured the Coastal A Cup title with a convincing 4-0 victory over the Surrey Selects.
You take one-part determination, two-parts preparation and mix in a dollop of extra motivaton and voila – that could sum up the win.
“It wasn’t convincing at the beginning, but once we shook the nerves the boys played it text book,” noted United coach Matt Manfredi. “We had some sort of idea of what kind of team they were, and once we scored our first goal we had the run of play.”
That first tally, off the boot of striker Emmanuel Mathe at the 15-minute mark, re-ignited that confidence that had served them over a three-game march to the final. They out-scored their competition 15-0 during the cup series, and drew the team that knocked them out of the league playoffs.
Redemption or revenge, either way it was that extra motivation which sealed the deal, Manfredi said.
“We finished first (in league) but lost in the semifinals, and that was a tough loss to Surrey,” he said. “It was that added incentive and for the boys it had left a bad taste in their mouth.”
With the victory Burnaby is now heading to July’s provincial cup championships in Richmond.
As it was the whole cup run, defence was critical to getting the job done.
Surrey relied heavily on the big kick from their big netminder, who Manfredi estimated stands five-foot-nine.
“He can kick that ball past the centre line,” noted Manfredi. “Basically their objective was to move the ball back to their (goalkeeper) and create opportunity from the back field.”
Burnaby’s four defenders set up a wall and did a stellar job of winning possession, turning back Surrey’s offensive drives.
Before the first half was over, Cesar Sherefani and Simon Gunasekera upped the lead to 3-0, while Nick MacKinnon completed the offence with a second-half marker.
The team, captained by Asher Herbert, will lose Maxim Kroutov, McKinnon and Mathe next year to the high performance league, but is all-in for the provincials in eight weeks time.
“Winning this was a happy ending, at least for this goal,” said Manfredi. “We wanted to finish first and get to (provincials). That’s been the aim all season.”
Dynamite’s run falls short
It wasn’t the result they wanted, and following a hard-fought 2-1 loss to West Coast Metro, the Burnaby District Metro u-16 girls Dynamite let the tears flow.
A win would have carried them onto the provincial A cup tournament. The effort and confidence groomed in their recent run will be something they can carry with them through life, noted Dynamite coach Ivan Svetic.
“They were definitely disappointed with the end result, they were really hungry to win (it),” said Svetic. “It’s been part of the goal for some time, to win the Coastal Cup and go on to the provincials. What they accomplished as a team was really special, and down the road they’ll see that.”
West Coast broke a scoreless draw 10 minutes into the second half, then doubled it off a penalty kick. Burnaby pushed forward and managed to cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Ava Mongrain with but a minute left. Time expired before they could put the final push on goal.
“It was pretty evenly played, and we may have had a slight edge in the first half,” noted Svetic. “What we needed was five more minutes and I think we’d have tied it.”
The team will now move up to u-16 next season virtually intact, with an eye on beginning the chase all over again.
“I hate it when people use hockey analogies, but I told them that this was like (1983 Stanley Cup final) when the (Edmonton) Oilers lost to the (New York) Islanders. They had to lose to go on to win.”