The South Delta Sun Devils are headed to the BC AAA Boys Soccer Championships for the first time in eight years thanks to a dramatic win on Monday afternoon in Surrey.
The 10th ranked Sun Devils pulled out a thrilling 3-2 victory in penalty kicks over the No. 6 Fleetwood Park Dragons to advance to today’s title game of the inaugural South Fraser AAA Zone Championships.
South Delta will take on top ranked Panorama Ridge at Newton Athletic Park (2 p.m.) with both sides knowing they are headed to Burnaby later this month for the provincial showcase tourney.
Twice the Devils rallied from one goal deficits to send their semi-final match to extra time and relied on some outstanding goalkeeping from Simon Raderecht too.
Normally a midfielder for South Delta United’s U18 Gold team, the senior has showcased his athleticism during the Sun Devils’ post-season run.
He came up with a key penalty kick save in the opening half of last week’s 3-0 quarter-final win against North Surrey and was at it again on Monday.
The Dragons looked poised for victory when they were awarded a penalty with a couple of minutes remaining in regulation. However, Raderecht came up with a diving stop and two more point blank saves moments later to send the game into overtime.
With the extra session not resolving the outcome and darkness fast approaching, the teams went to penalty kicks. Fleetwood Park had a chance to win on its fifth attempt but was turned back by Raderecht. Sudden death followed and the teams exchanged goals until he made back-to-back saves in the eighth and ninth round to end the drama.
“Simon won us that game,” said co-head coach Brent Sweeney. “We had some guys nicked up and feeling under the weather too so we weren’t at full strength. The two weeks off before provincials will do us a lot of good.”