Got giants? No problem

Los Diablos play giant-killers in their year-end soccer playdowns in Nanaimo

Los Diablos’ Nicolas Conway blocks a hard shot in the pouring rain earlier this season.

Los Diablos’ Nicolas Conway blocks a hard shot in the pouring rain earlier this season.

They weren’t the biggest team on the pitch by any stretch, but Oceanside’s Los Diablos played giant-killers in Nanaimo last weekend as they knocked off not only one, but two of the top-seeded teams to win gold at their NDYSS U14/U15 boys year-end playdowns.

In action on the new turf fields at Merle Logan in Nanaimo last weekend and slotted fourth in the seven-team tourney going in, the local side opened Saturday morning with a convincing 4-2 win over fifth-seeded Cedar.

In a sign of things to come, Pedro Hernandez struck for two goals and Tony Trozzo and Jacob Watson added singles.

Back at it that afternoon for the semifinals, Oceanside pulled off an upset of the huge variety when they knocked off the Nanaimo Black Ops. The top-seeded Black Ops were undefeated over the regular season.

“That was a big in for us,” confirmed Oceanside head coach Dave Robinson.

In that game, Pedro staked Oceanside to an early 1-0 lead, and Nanaimo replied in the dying minutes of the opening half for a 1-1 tie at the break

“I was a bit worried,” said Robinson. “It was our second game of the day and I thought fatigue might factor in in the second half, but I was pleasantly surprised …”

Pedro upped to 2-1 early in the second half. Trozzo made it 3-1, and Pedro completed the hat trick with about 10 minutes remaining to seal the improbable 4-1 victory.

“What’s really neat about this is that we play in a U14/ U15 division, and our team had all U14 players — we had no Grade 9 players on our team, not one, so most of the season we were playing much larger teams.”

“And this particular Black Ops team had a number of really big players.  Our guys were quite courageous — all weekend.”

Game 3 Sunday afternoon in the gold medal game against Nanaimo’s JH Mafia, Robinson said “we were outmatched for most of the first half.”

Down 2-nil at the break, Oceanside picked up their play in the second half and were carrying much of the play when they were finally rewarded with about 15 minutes remaining off a nice pass from Tony to Pedro who slotted it in the corner to cut the lead in half.

The Los Diablos cranked up the pressure, and with about six minutes left the ball fell nicely for Watson who scored “an absolute screamer from about 20 yards out top right corner. One of the most beautiful goals I’ve seen,” said Robinson, adding at that point the parents on hand went wild and the Mafia were clearly rattled.

“I have to be honest, after the first half it did not look like it was going to be our day,” said the coach, “but our guys persevered and managed to find a way to stun them with two late goals.”

Nanailmo pressed and came close as they had a couple corner kicks, but Oceanside keeper Nolin Fong “made several outstanding saves” to preserve the tie.

In the shoot-out, Oceanside went 3-for-4. Lucas Sposato scored on the final shot to secure the win, and Fong, who also took a shot and scored in the shoot-out “was a difference-maker in net all weekend for us.”

Earning high praise from their coach for their tenacious play were midfielders Theo Faust-Robinson and Wesley Terpstra “who won a lot of the little battles to get the ball back for us.”

Robinson also had props “for all my defenders,” — center-backs Nicolas Conway and Rob McIntosh, and defenders Sposato and Colin Koelewyn.

“It was awesome — just one of the best weekends of soccer I’ve got to experience in my (14) years coaching.”

 

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre. Offices will re-open to the general public on June 21. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville’s city hall offices to open again on June 21

Offices will resume pre-COVID hours of operation

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read