Photo by Chung Chow
Hugh McRoberts senior boys soccer team has had a successful season by any measure.
After an undefeated regular season, the Strikers won city bragging rights with a 2-1 win over the McNair Marlins. They then beat the Notre Dame Jugglers in penalty kicks courtesy a pair of saves from goalie Daniel Judkowicz to claim the Vancouver District championship.
Then last week, they were placed in the same pool as last year’s provincial AA soccer champions, St. Michael’s University, and more than held their own on their way to finishing in the province’s top 10.
“It was a memorable season, and definitely the most talented team I’ve ever coached,” said coach Drew Arnold, who complimented the team’s Grade 12s for their play on the pitch, leadership, encouragement and commitment. “I think our young players fed off of the graduating players’ work ethic, and gained insight into how hard successful teams work…”
Many Grade 9, 10 and 11 players made significant contributions towards this year’s success.
In the pressure-packed penalty kicks portion of the Vancouver District championship game, the title-clinching goal was coolly slotted home by Grade 10 Saif Ali Pasha. Also returning are Grade 11 student Matheus Jayme, Grade 10 student Jenaro Medina and Grade 9 playmaker Josh Bhandal, a product of Richmond’s TSS soccer academy, as well as a pair of Ethans, Vajda and van den Hemel.
“The loss of our seniors will undoubtedly be felt next year, but the torch has been passed to some very capable…young players,” Arnold said.
Also graduating this July are: Ryan Heroux (named to Commissioner’s 11 at the provincials), defensive standouts Alex Jerstad, Cam Knight, and Arman Avagyan, as well as Braeden Vajda, Andre Ho, Gregory Schuetz and Noel van den Hemel. Jacqueline Tyrer and Andrey Krasnoperov were the team managers.