Kyle Fennema scores three in comeback 4-3 win last Tuesday at home
St. Marys Juggernauts played a home-and-home Western Ontario Soccer League (WOSL) Second Division series with rival Taxandria Falcons last week.
On Tuesday, June 18 at the DCVI pitch, Juggernauts came out “flat as a pancake,” coach Wayne Murray remarked. Taxandria opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game when the home team was sloppy defending.
Juggernauts, however, answered quickly with one of their own when the team’s leading scorer Kyle Fennema found a path to the net and connected with a low shot. After that, the Falcons took control again by scoring back-to-back goals to jump ahead 3-1.
The St. Marys squad, angry at themselves for their slow start, suddenly woke up and played ‘Juggernaut’ football. Within a span of five minutes, the home side scored twice to vault themselves back in the contest.
Fennema picked up a loose ball and closed the gap to 3-2 with another low shot. Hard-working Remco Scheele, playing outside right defence, then teamed up with Bruno Maia after making a long run down the sidelines. They performed a nice give-and-go and Scheele made no mistake with a solid boot to the corner mesh. It left the two teams deadlocked 3-3 at the half-time break.
Captain Jake Dickey was a defensive stalwart for Juggernauts in the opening 45 minutes.
Fennema fires second-half winner
With new life, St. Marys came out flying early in the second half and continually pressed their opponents high up the pitch. Juggernauts were finally rewarded for their efforts when Fennema completed his hat trick, giving St. Marys a 4-3 victory. Back-up goalkeeper Evan Doupe was pressed into action when a nagging injury forced Aaron Wybrow out of the game in the first half. Doupe made several great saves to preserve the win.
The return match was held in Taxandria last Friday, June 21. The St. Marys coaching staff made a few minor tweaks “so that the boys would not come out flat” as in previous matches.
The strategy seemed to work as Fennema continued his torrid scoring pace with his seventh goal in just five games. Falcons, however, turned the tables on the Juggernauts by scoring three unanswered goals to take control.
St. Marys amped up its compete level, but came up short in a 3-1 loss. “We didn’t pass the ball very well,” coach Murray reported. “The team seems to struggle, for whatever reason, on fields that are shorter and wider. It’s something to work on in practice.”
Friday’s loss left Juggernauts’ record at 3-3, good for fifth place in the 10-team league standings.
–Juggernauts played St. Columban Celtics at home this past Tuesday. Next Tuesday, July 2, they have a Cup game against Chatham Storm at the DCVI pitch, starting at 8 p.m. St. Marys plays its third straight home game on Friday, July 5 against London White Eagles, again at 8 p.m.
–After weekend action, London Croatia (6-0-0) continues to lead the Second Division standings with 18 points. Taxandria sits in second place with a 5-0-4 won-tied-loss record, good for 15 points.
–Striker Kyle Fennema is in second place in division scoring. A Taxandria player currently has 10 goals, but has played more games.