Sophomore Joaquin McWatters displayed some of the perks of being a versatile soccer player Friday.
After holding the Porter Creek Rams A squad to a single goal in the first half as goalkeeper, McWatters went on to score the final three goals of the game as a striker, giving the FH Collins Warriors A team a 7-2 win in the final game of the Whitehorse high school championships.
In all the post-game excitement, McWatters, at first, had little recollection of his goals.
“No,” said McWatters, when ask if he remembered the amount of goals he scored. “I think I got the game winner, I don’t know.
“Actually, I didn’t. I got them late in the second half,” he added.
“He can’t even remember his goals!” piped in teammate Robin Lin.
As is often the case with round-robin tournaments, the final game was not against the two strongest teams. Going into the final game with a 3-0 record, a loss would have meant a first place tie with Vanier for the FHC A team.
A pair of Potters whipped up some magic to score a handful of goals for the Warriors in the game. Logan Potter opened the scoring for the Warriors in the first with a goal. Then, after Janelle Greer put one on the board, Logan found the back of the net a second time to close out the half.
Teammate Mac Potter, setting the stage for McWatters’ hat trick, then opened the scoring in the second with a goal.
FHC’s closest game of the championships came earlier that day in a 3-2 win over the Vanier Crusaders, who finished second in the tournament ahead of the Warriors B team, the Rams’ B team and the fifth-place Rams’ A team.
After tying the game 2-2 with 10 minutes of play left in the Crusaders game, Logan Potter scored again on a 12-yard shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and in for the win.
“When we played Vanier they had, like, 24 players, and they were all rep-team players,” said Warriors coach Peter Mather.
“So they had really good players, but they probably had too many players, and so they’re subbing all the time. Where we just had the same players out there all the time,” he added.
“So they had to work harder, but they get more into the flow of the game and that really helped us.”
Hills leads Vanier to first place finish
Playing a playoff draw, after a round robin, the final game of the Grade 8 and 9’s — unlike for the senior players — was for all the beans.
With each team scoring a pair of goals in the second half, the Vanier Crusaders kept on top to take the championships with a 5-3 win over the Porter Creek Rams.
Kurtis Hills, scored the three middle goals for the Crusaders, while teammates James Boyle and Michael Hare supplied the bookends.
“He’s the youngest of three soccer-loving boys,” said Janet Clarke, a co-coach of the Crusaders. “He brings the team together.”
However, the Crusaders had to make do without Hills in the second game of the tournament (in the round robin) after he received a red card and had to sit the game out.
“He’s very passionate about soccer,” said Clarke. “That might explain the red card.”
While letting a 1-0 lead slip into a 3-1 deficit in the first half, the Rams were not without their opportunities. Getting a string of five corner kicks in roughly five minutes midway through the first, the Rams produced a lot of pinball play in front of the Vanier net, but failed to capitalize.
“There were a bunch of scrambling plays where we were unable to knock it in,” said Rams head coach Don Fedus. “But that’s how it goes.”
“I’m really not disappointed at all,” continued Fedus. “We didn’t practice. Before we just had people sign-up and wanted to come play and play. That’s how we looked at it.”
Be that as it may, the Rams did bring some experience to the game.
“Lot’s of these kids have played soccer before,” said Fetus. “They have positions that they like to play — everyone does well at their position. So it was an easy job for me.”
The Crusaders went unbeaten at the tournament, but did receive a 3-3 tie in their last round robin game, versus the Warriors B squad.
The Rams’ only other loss also came at the hands of the Crusaders during the round robin section of the tournament, losing 6-3.
“This match was a lot closer than the first one,” said Fedus, speaking his team’s second match-up against the Crusaders. “We were a little more organized in this one.”
FHC’s B and A teams filled third- and fourth-place slots.