The Sunshine Coast U-18 Storm boys have qualified for the Coastal Cup semifinals on April 15, after winning their quarter final game last Saturday in front of their largest hometown crowd ever out in the glorious sunshine at Brothers Park in Gibsons. And their semi-final will be another home game too.
The boys finished third in their 17-team Division 1 league this season, which was quite an accomplishment in itself.
Losing just three games all season long, the Storm were the only team to beat the top team in the division and they went into the Coastal Cup playoffs, playing the best soccer they’ve ever played.
Back on March 4, the boys won their Round-Of-16 Coastal Cup game vs Richmond United by a score of 2-1 on two second-half goals by Kaishan Nonacowie and Taiyo Blackwell, Taiyo’s winner coming with just five minutes remaining in the game. The team had a spectacular late save by keeper Duncan Service to thank for their victory that day as well.
They had to wait a full month to finally get to play their quarter final game versus the visiting Coquitlam Valencia team on Saturday. But what a game it was. An absolute thriller!
The Storm started the game with incredible intensity and within one minute of kickoff, Max Joe took a quick throw-in to Kaishan, who charged into the box and in on net, where he was taken down for a stone-cold penalty, which he promptly put away.
Just a minute later, Taiyo hammered a shot off the crossbar that was just inches away from making it an immediate 2-0 lead. But it was never going to be an easy, comfortable win like it appeared it might be in those very early stages of the game.
The Storm did create a couple more grade-A chances, without giving up a single one in return, but in the end that one goal was all that was needed.
The team has scored a lot of great goals this season, but there’s no way to overstate just how important the whole team’s defense has been.
So far, in two incredibly tight Coastal Cup knockout games, the Storm have only given up one goal. Just one goal in 180 minutes of Cup play! And that one goal was a fluke double-deflection goal in the game vs Richmond.
If they win this semi-final game they’ll not only be going to the final, but they’ll also be going to provincials in July.
So, on the 15th come on out and cheer the boys on in the biggest game of their lives so far.