Striker Kyle Fennema sparks offence with first-half hat trick
By Pat Payton
A quick start and striker Kyle Fennema’s hot shooting were the keys for St. Marys Juggernauts in their WOSL Second Division home opener last Friday night at the DCVI pitch.
Powered by Fennema’s three first-half goals, and strong team defence for the full 90 minutes, Juggernauts posted a well-deserved 4-0 victory over the African Carib ‘A’ squad from London.
With a large contingent of fans cheering them on, Juggernauts came out flying right out of the gate. Fennema, last year’s division-leading goal scorer with 17, started where he left off. A long forward pass from captain Jake Dickey helped spring the big striker into the clear and he made no mistake–neatly blasting a shot past the helpless London goalkeeper.
After the goal, Carib started to pick up the pace and apply strong pressure, but goalkeeper Aaron Wybrow and Dickey and his defensive unit weathered the attack.
Shortly after, Fennema made it 2-0 on a penalty after being hauled down in the 18-yard box.
The big striker, however, was not done. Just before the end of the first half, Fennema broke free again and completed his hat trick with another solid strike. A long pass from defender Andy O’Connell seemed to catch the London team off guard and allowed Fennema to break into the clear.
“The half-time talk was about not losing focus, and staying aggressive,” St. Marys coach Wayne Murray said.
Early in the second half, Fennema gained a step on a defender and broke down the right side. After running out of room, he reversed and made a pin-point pass to charging midfielder Braeden Weston, who increased the Juggernauts’ lead to 4-0 with a well-placed one-timer.
For a 10-minute stretch that followed, the Carib side took over and carried the play. Wybrow took down a London player in the box, but he redeemed himself by stopping the ensuing penalty kick and preserving his cleansheet.
The St. Marys defence, led by Dickey, was nearly impenetrable for most of the match. “Overall, it was a great team victory, with all 18 players contributing,” coach Murray added.
–Juggernauts’ next home game is this Friday, May 31 when Oakridge comes to town for an 8 o’clock kick-off. St. Marys plays its third straight home game on Tuesday, June 4 at 8 p.m. The visitors will be the Chatham Storm.
–Going into this past weekend, London Croatia ‘B’ led the Second Division standings with a 3-0 record.