By Ian Jacques/Editor
Sunshine Coast soccer can add another championship to its ever-growing list of accomplishments.
Julian Cantarutti and Skyler Lagace, both 16, helped lead the Mountain Whitecaps Football Club (WFC) to the U16 boys championship at the Super Y-League North American finals in Florida last week.
Julian, playing right back, was part of the first string lineup and played in four of the five games at the tournament. He was named MVP in the semifinal as well. Skyler was the back-up keeper for the tournament. He was a big part of the team’s success during the regular season and was right there during the tournament when called upon.
WFC started play with a 3-0 win over the Northern Virginia Royals on Nov. 21. The following day saw another 3-0 win, this time over Schulz Academy. Super Nova FC provided the best challenge for WFC on Nov. 23, as WFC pulled out a 4-3 win. That set up a semifinal match against CZ Elite Soccer that WFC won 1-0.
The championship final against TSF Academy was a back-and-forth contest with WFC pulling out an impressive 2-0 win.
The win was Mountain’s first-ever Super Y-League championship in only their second year as a Vancouver Whitecaps FC and B.C. Soccer Association (BCSA) affiliate club, and the second Super Y-League title for the Whitecaps since the 2004 season. That year, the Whitecaps U13 boys were crowned North American champions.
Head coach Les Krivak said he felt the team’s confidence grew with every win.
“We knew we had a chance of success because the squad is a tight-knit group,” he said. “However, I thought the boys believed we could win the title after the first two games. We knew we had lots of quality up front and the ability to score lots of goals. Our only concern, however, was with our defensive backline, as we had some injuries in that area before the tournament. Even though we had only one training session to work on our defensive shape before the finals, we did very well in recording four clean sheets.”
Krivak, who also serves as an assistant coach in the Whitecaps prospects program, was thoroughly delighted for his players’ success.
“I’m really happy for the boys, as they really earned what they have achieved,” he said. “I’m proud to be part of Mountain WFC this year and to have been selected as coach of this team. From the first day, the team was very professional and never caused any sort of trouble. We received plenty of compliments from those who watched us play down here in Florida, especially as to how we carried ourselves as a team and as individuals.”
It was during the summer that Krivak’s squad earned their November trip to Florida, as they finished top of the U16 boys Pacific Northwest division with a record of 7-2-1. They edged Abbotsford Mariners by two points in the standings, having scored a total of 31 goals during the course of their 10-match regular season schedule. The division also included Whitecaps and BCSA affiliate Coastal WFC, Thompson Okanagan, Washington Crossfire and Yakima Reds.