Like caviar, when it comes to shots on net, it’s quality not quantity.
All the elements of this concept were present Monday at Ecole Emilie Tremblay as Team D (a.k.a The Youth Team) picked up their first win of the season in the men’s soccer league, beating Team B 4-2.
In both halfs Team D, nicknamed the Youth Team because all the players are 15 to 17 years old, came out and controlled the gameplay.
Then, in the latter stage of each half, the B squad would pump up the juice and pepper Youth’s net with shots — more so in the second half.
However, even though the B Team took roughly three times as many shots, both teams picked up two goals in the second because the majority of shots on Youth’s net were low percentage ones, taken from far out.
“We had the wind (blowing at our backs) the second half, so you always have to take a couple more shots when you have the wind going with you, because it’s harder to judge the ball,” said Willie Quarton, who scored Team B’s second goal of the game.
“Plus we didn’t get enough shots in the first half, so we were like, ‘Let’s throw some on the net and see what happens.’”
Youth came out roaring in the first. Six minutes in, Nathan Wallace — who scored again to make it 3-0 at the start of the second half — received a pass in side the goal area and out manoeuvered B’s goalkeeper, then casually knocking the ball in the net.
Despite Team B picking up steam and getting increasingly more shots on net, the Youth Team scored its second 33 minutes into the game. After Team B took a high kick foul, Michael Abbott redirected a direct kick from 40-yards out.
“We’ve actually been close with most of our games,” said Youth Team coach Jake Hanson. “What’s made a difference for us is that we were predominately a 15, 16-year-old team until the last couple weeks and now we have some of our 17-year-olds coming in and that’s really helping us.”
Maintaining a high-energy game until the end, B troop found the back of the net with just a couple minutes left to play.
“I came down the wing and I was dropping back because we had too many people up on the front line, so I had a lot of space at the top of the box,” said Quarton, describing his goal. “I just asked for someone to drop it back to me … I don’t think he (Young) saw it coming.”
Jonathan Quarton (Willie’s brother) scored Youth’s final goal 28 minutes into the second half, assisted by Wallace. Alejandro Pulido scored B’s first goal of the game from 30-yards out, 19 minutes into the second half.
Although the Youth Team is proud of their first win of the season, it is hardly the big picture. Many of the 15 and 16-year-olds on the team will be travelling to Sydney, Nova Scotia, in October to represent the Yukon at the National Tournament.
“This team here will help with the selection for the Canada Games. This is the core of the team that will be representing the territory in the Canada games next summer,” added Hanson, who will be coaching both teams.
“The 17-year-olds will be 18 next summer and the Canada Games is a U-18 (18 and under) tournament for soccer.”