South Burnaby Metro Club made good in its second consecutive B.C. Soccer Coastal Cup, winning the under-15 boys’ B Cup final.
Curtis Li scored the first-half game-winner and then goalkeeper Austin Arrotta did the rest, securing the shutout with a 1-0 victory over the Surrey FC Ravens in a furious finish at Minoru Park on Saturday.
“(Surrey) was fierce. They put a lot of pressure on a lot of our players,” said Li, who slipped behind the Ravens’ back line and pounced on an Aiden Toy chip shot over the defence before directing the ball into the corner of the net.
The winning goal was the only ball to get past the Ravens’ keeper in Coastal Cup playdowns after three consecutive shutouts leading up to the final.
But South Burnaby had its own shutdown keeper in Arrotta.
The lanky goalie needed all of his 6-1 frame to palm away the potential game-tying goal with a desperation diving save as Surrey turned up the heat in the final 10 minutes of play.
“I was surprised, to be honest,” said Arrotta after a Surrey player turned at the top of the 18-yard box and fired a quick shot on goal. “It was a really hard shot, but thankfully I was up to it.”
And so were the rest of the Strikers, who had to finish the game with 11 players after an injury earlier in the match left them without any substitutions.
“(The SBMC players) just put everything out there,” said Strikers co-coach Gordon Li. “It wasn’t our best game, but in terms of effort and emotion, I was proud of the boys.”