South Delta Sun Devils capped their best season in nearly a decade with a fifth-place finish at last week’s BC AAA Boys Soccer Championships in Burnaby.
Making their first tournament appearance in eight years, the Sun Devils closed out the 16-team championships on Saturday with a 1-0 win in penalty kicks over Reynolds from Victoria. It was a fitting finish for Simon Raderecht who was named the Most Outstanding Goalkeeper of the tournament. The senior allowed just one goal in five games and was terrific throughout the Sun Devils post-season run.
South Delta finished the 2019 campaign having lost just once in regulation time in 22 games. That was against eventual provincial champion Panorama Ridge — a team the Devils also lost in penalty kicks to three weeks ago in the South Fraser Zone final.
“Not only was this a good team but just a great group of kids to coach as well,” said Brent Sweeney who guided the team alongside Stephen Burns. “We had one yellow card the entire provincial tournament. Just a very disciplined group.”
South Delta opened the championships with 1-0 and 5-1 wins over Rutland and Sardis respectively. That set-up a showdown with Handsworth on Thursday morning for top spot in the group and a semi-final berth.
The teams played to a scoreless tie and went directly to penalty kicks to determine a winner.
The Royals could have sealed the win on their fifth attempt but Raderecht came through with a clutch diving stop. The North Shore school would eventually prevail 4-3 in the sixth round and went on to win the bronze medal.
“We had some chances early on and they kind of took over in the second half and we were hanging on a bit,” added Sweeney. “Unfortunately we had some of our regular shooters banged up and not available for penalty kicks and had to put some inexperienced players in a pressure-packed situation.”
South Delta rebounded from the tough loss to defeat Oak Bay 3-0 thanks to a hat trick from Jason Crump — setting the stage for the win over Reynolds.
The Devils roster also features: Ethan Chadd, Jack Chadd, Isaac Delfosse, Jonah Jackson, Cameron Kline, Alexander Lamyin, Jackson Maccubbin, Ryonosuke Maeda, Lorenzo Mauro, Adam Novakowski, Matthew Novakowski, Giacomo Petrocco, Jonah Quarry, Edurado Rolim Medeiros, Shion Sasaki, David Seppik, Chase Timuss, Constantin Von Borries, Otto Willburn and junior call-up Matthew McPhie.