ERSL Cup Finals
Cumberland Cobras split U10 ERSL Cup finals
By Fred Sherwin
Tesfaye sprints past an Ottawa Royals defender during the U10 ERSL Cup final
on Sunday. The Cumberland Cobras would goon to win the game and the Cup
by a score of 6-1. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Cobras U10 Premier girls and boys teams each had a shot at winning an ERSL
Cup on Sunday, but only one of them managed to pull off the feat as the
boys team won its final in dominating fashion.
The U10 Level
3 'A' squad has been on a roll since late June when a big win over the Kanata
Lightning in the first round of the ERSL Cup tournament helped erase a rather
slow start to the season. After winning their first league game against
the Ottawa Internationals, they lost two and then tied two for a rather
unimpressive 1-2-2 start to the 2009 campaign.
Even a wild 11-4
win over Kanata didn't help right the ship immediately. They tied their
third league game in a row five days later before finally getting their
act together in back-to-back wins over Cumberland United and Goulbourn to
give them some a momentum heading into their ERSL Cup quarterfinal against
the first place OSU Force.
The game turned
out to be one for the ages. After battling each other to a 3-3 draw, the
two teams exchanged penalty kicks through 13 rounds before Cumberland finally
sealed the deal with their 13th shooter.
After the big
win, the Cobras won six of their next seven games including a
7-1 win over Goulbourn in the ERSL Cup semi-final. The only game they didn't
win over that span was a 3-3 tie against the Ottawa Royals Wildcats who,
as fate would have it, would end up facing them in Sunday's ERSL Cup final.
Unlike the earlier
tie, however, the Cup final was a major league blowout. The Cobras came
to the Colonnade Road mini-fields ready to play championship soccer as they
jumped all over the Wildcats from the opening whistle.
The Cobras had
three good scoring chances before the game was 12 minutes old, including
a powerful shot by Noah Holder from just outside the penalty area that the
Ottawa Royals keeper just managed to get his hand on to deflect it over
A minute later,
the Cobras were applying pressure in deep once again when Zak Rodrigue fired
a ball into the goal area that Jordan Garbe got to before the Wildcats keeper
had a chance to react and just like that the score was 1-0 in favour of
later, Roman Cannell managed to win the ball down low before crossing it
to Benaiah Tesfaye who scored high into the net from the top of the box.
The Cobras increased
their lead to 3-0 in the 23rd minute on pitcher perfect header off a corner
kick that would have made Pele proud. Tesfaye executed the corner to perfection
and Cannell came through with a perfectly timed header into the net.
fourth goal came in the final few minutes of the first half. Cannell was
once again the instigator as he threaded the ball to Alexandre Szostalo
who scored from inside the penalty area.
Up 4-0 at the
half, the Cobras didn't take any chances on risking a Wildcats comeback.
As play resumed, they put immediate pressure on the Ottawa Royal backs who
at times appeared overwhelmed. Less then a minute into the second half,
Rodrigue slammed a shot off the crossbar.
later, Mellon sent a long ball into the penalty area that bounced off the
keeper right to a hard-charging Cannell. The ball then deflected off Cannell's
chest past the keeper and into the net to make the score 5-0.
The Cobras sixth
goal was another perfectly timed pass from Cannell to Garbe who simply had
to get his foot on the ball and redirect it into the net for the score.
only goal came near the end of the game after they were awarded a penalty
kick on an arguable call that was made from the penalty area at the opposite
end of the field.
The call and
subsequent goal ruined Cumberland keeper Brogan Engbers shutout bid, but
his whatever disappointment he may have felt vanished during the post game
After the game
Cobras Chirs Engbers, credited the team's skill level to their athleticism.
of '99s we always said were athletes first and soccer players second. We
have six kids who play AA hockey, a provincial level gymnast and two kids
who play football with the Cumberland Panthers," noted Engbers, who
was helped out this year by assistants Sule Karsli and Mark Garbe. "This
was defintely one of the better all round games they've played this year.
They were a little nervous before the game, but we told them the best way
to get rid of the nerves was to play hard from the opening whistle."
Cobras U10 Premier boys team poses with the ERSL Cup and championship banner
after defeating the Ottawa Royals Wildcats 6-1 on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
As the Cobras
U10 boys team was celebrating their big win, the U10 girls team was getting
ready for their ERSl Cup final against the Kanata Lightning who had beaten
them 5-0 in their only regular season match-up.
The game was
played fairly evenly though the first half as the Cobras managed to direct
four shots on goal. The Lightning, on the other hand, failed to direct a
single shot toward the keeper even though they fired six shots at goal and
had three corner kicks. In fact, the closest they came to scoring was in
fifth minute when a Cumberland defender almost scored an own goal when she
tried to clear a coner kick.
to come unraveled for the Cobras as Kanata started to turn up the pressure
in the opening few minutes of the second half . The result was a goal from
just inside the box in the fifth minute.
to tie the game three minutes later off a free kick from just outside the
box that the Kanata keeper was unable to handle.
The game remained
deadlocked for all of three minutes before the Lightning scored the go ahead
goal on a bang-bang play in which the Kanata player managed to fire the
ball between the Cumberland keeper and the near post.
The score would
have been a lot different if not for the efforts of the Cobras keeper who
made several stellar saves in the later stages of the second half to keep
her team in the game.
several chances to tie the score in the final five minutes but they couldn't
find a way to finish. The final nail in the coffin came off a botched call
in the Kanata end.
The Cobras had
just missed off a corner kick and were pressuring the ball along the end
line when it deflected off a Kanata player's foot out of bounds, but instead
of awarding the Cobras another corner kick, the referee ruled that the ball
had gone off the Cumberland player.
On the ensuing
play, the Lightning keeper kicked the ball to midfield where a teammate
picked it up and went in and scored on a breakaway to make the final 3-1
The ERSl Cup
finals continue next weekend at the Hornet's Nest as four more east end
teams will see action. The Gloucester Hornets U12 Premier boys team plays
Capital United; the Cumberland Cobras U14 Premier girls team takes on the
OSU Force; the Hornets U15 Premier team plays OSU Force as well; and the
Cobras U15 Premier boys team goes up against the Kanata Lightning.
view more pictures of the Boys U10 ERSL Cup final click here
p.m., Sept. 14)
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