Crusaders ground Foothills’ attack

Soccer: Falcons fall 6-2 to powerhouse Canmore

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am

Foothills Falcon Garrett Young rises up for a header with a Canmore Crusaders defender during Canmore’s 6-2 win on Monday evening at Kinsmen Field in Okotoks. Young and James Thomas scored for the Falcons.
Foothills Falcon Garrett Young rises up for a header with a Canmore Crusaders defender during Canmore’s 6-2 win on Monday evening at Kinsmen Field in Okotoks. Young and James Thomas scored for the Falcons.
Remy Greer/OWW

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The perennial powerhouse in Senior boys soccer isn’t showing any cracks in its armour.

The two-time defending champion Canmore Crusaders counterattacked to a 6-2 victory over the Foothills Falcons, Monday night in Okotoks, proving their annual might at the apex of the Foothills Athletic Council ranks.

“We got down a little bit too early and just needed more positive morale out of the team,” said Falcons co-captain Garrett Young. “We definitely need to get more endurance and positioning with our midfielders. (Canmore) has a pretty strong midfield, they play a little further back.

“It helps as a benchmark of where we need to go, them and HTA.”

Crusaders striker Shabouki Webb gave the Falcons fits in the first-half, completing the rare natural hat-trick before halftime with a strike from inside the 18-yard box and a pair of tallies off free-kicks to give the visitors the 3-0 advantage at the break.

Canmore added another off a sublime direct free-kick off the left boot of Soren Kwasay with teammate Ryan Statham then adding a second-half brace to put the Crusaders in command with a 6-0 advantage.

“Defensively we wanted to be strong and worry about defence before we attack, but they were really quick on the break, on that counterattack, on that quick push,” said Falcons head coach Manoel Pequeno.

“Our main focus was to stay as a unit defensively and mark the man, but it’s tough when they are attacking with such speed.

“They came out flying and we definitely came out a little flat. There was encouragement in the second half, we definitely found our flow and momentum on the field and got settled in.”

Foothills didn’t let the scoreline affect performance in the late stages. The Falcons got on the board when they were awarded a penalty kick which striker James Thomas fired off the crossbar and in.

Minutes later, the Falcons scored in on open play on an audacious shot from distance from the skipper. Young lifted in a curler from 40 yards after catching the Canmore keeper wandering too far out.

“I saw a little gap between the defence so I just thought I would fire it off because I noticed he was a little weak in the hands,” Young said. “I thought I lofted it a little high, but as soon as it dropped I think I knew it was going in.”

The loss came on the heels of Foothills’ first win of the season. The Falcons poured on the offence in handing the Notre Dame Collegiate Timberwolves a 5-2 defeat on May 7 in Okotoks. Young and Thomas each scored a pair to lead the Foothills’ attack.

Across town, the Holy Trinity Academy Knights improved to 2-0 after soundly defeating the Strathmore Spartans by a 5-1 score on May 7. Braden Barwich, Sam Coyles, Daniel Miller, Stephano Leblic and Arnaud Nimenya all scored for the balanced Knights.

“Our team really has a lot of talent,” said Knights coach Crystal Anderson. “And we really started to work well together by the end.”

The Knights take to the road to tackle the undefeated Crusaders today, May 14, while the Falcons travel northeast to square off against the Spartans.

The teams are off on Victoria Day which sets up round two of the Okotoks Derby on Wednesday May 21. The Knights took the first meeting by a 2-1 score.

Kick-off for the cross-town rivalry tilt in 4:30 p.m. at Riverside Park.

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