Noel van den Hemel
Thanks to a beautiful goal by Joven Sidhu and a spectacular
save by Daniel Judkowicz, Hugh McRoberts secondary claimed the Richmond high
school soccer title Tuesday afternoon at Hugh Boyd park.
After McRoberts took a 2-0 lead at the half, Matthew McNair’s talented squad drew within a goal to set up a dramatic finish.
McNair was poised to knot the game after they were awarded a free kick a few yards outside the 18-yard box and directly in front of the net with about 10 minutes left in the championship final.
But Judkowicz, a world class ball hockey player, played superhero and preserved the team’s 2-1 lead by flying across the goalmouth and used two hands to deflect the ball that appeared destined for the top right corner of the net. The ball was deflected up and out.
It was a stunning save by the senior that drew gasps from those in the stands and on the sidelines. Many on McNair’s bench held their heads in disbelief.
McRoberts took a 1-0 lead when Sidhu rose high into the air to send fellow Grade 11 student Matheus Jayme’s corner kick into the top corner of the net.
A breakaway goal by Grade 10 student Jenaro Medina doubled the Strikers lead.
McRoberts, a Double-A school, is coached by teachers Drew Arnold and Gregg Marr, now moves on to the district finals next week. If the team wins its next game, it will qualify for the provincial championships. A loss will bring their season to an end.
But no matter what happens next week, McRobert’s roster is young, with many of this year’s key contributors in Grades 9, 10 and 11 and all preparing to return next year.
That sets up a potential rivalry for the next couple of years with traditional Richmond boys soccer powerhouse McMath, a Triple-A school who reportedly hasn’t lost in Richmond league play since 2008 and is a fixture at the provincial championships.