C.W. Jefferys takes North Region final 1-0 over upstart Mackenzie
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for William Lyon Mackenzie Lyons.
The senior boys soccer squad lost 1-0 to C.W. Jefferys Saints in the North Region final but that won’t exclude them from the city championships when spring arrives.
In the chilly air at Esther Shiner Stadium Nov. 2, Lyons coach Mark O’Brien said it was a battle of equals.
“It was a really well-matched game although there was just a moment of lost concentration when (the Saints) took the ball to the net in the first half,” he said. “But outside of that it was a very competitive game.”
Within the first 20 minutes, C.W. Jefferys scored while a frenzy of blue jerseys crowded Mac goalie Berkan Arayan.
Through the throng Miguel Coreas bent a shot that deflected off Arayan’s hands and inside the net.
Still with that Saints goal, the Lyons did not lose ferocity as Mischa Koralov was wide alone via Josh Hambourg, just missing a yawning C.W. Jefferys net.
During the match O’Brien coerced his charges to fight for the ball from the sidelines.
Midfielder Daniel Flam-Sheppard answered the call, as did Alex Manta and Berkan Coban.
However earning appraise for the Saints was Nathan Tallow, as the netminder shut down any Mac opportunities.
And it wasn’t just during the North Region final that Tallow shone. Coach Genadi Meilikhan said his netminder’s work has been consistent throughout the fall.
“The goalkeeper kept us in the game the whole season,” he said. “We have the lowest goals against in the league and that means we played very well defensively.”
Not wanting to single one player out, Meilikhan said it was a team effort.
Rushing the Lyons’ net were strikers Dion Isaacs, Deja Reid and Junior Simms. Crosses were common and Isaacs was an increased threat on corner kicks.
“The boys bought into the system and that paid off,” Meilikhan said. “We should have scored two or three more goals.
“It just wasn’t our day to finish but other than that, I like the discipline on this team,” he added. “As a school we deserve this.”