After all but the beautiful Connor Park closed on the Coast this past Saturday due to the record rainfall, the Sunshine Coast U15 Storm FC welcomed a true city rival in Cliff Avenue Athletics (CAU) from Burnaby, to whom we lost to 0-1 back in the fall.
It was one of the best matchups in the Storm lineup of opponents this year, a great battle that seems to bring out the best in both teams. The Storm loss in the fall came inside the last 10 minutes of the game, and now was the opportunity for a score to be settled.
Immediately after the whistle blew, we knew the Storm were here to play some serious team-based soccer with full energy outputs by everyone on the pitch and some marvellously dynamic attacking. The flurry of one-touch ball movements by the Storm had CAU off guard for most of the first half. Our warriors are learning to be quick and deadly with these immediate decisions, which makes the game move faster and also allows you to compete against the elite teams in this league. There were so many wicked shots by the Storm during the half that it was a testament to CAU to keep the game scoreless at the half.
The game became a little more an equal war in the beginning of the second half. The CAU had learned and were pushing the defensive line of the Storm, including the fantastic keeper Duncan Service, who did his team justice by stopping some shots that could have easily gone in had it not been for his lightening quick golden gloves.
The two teams constantly exchanged many excellent full field back and forth sequences, which made it virtually impossible for the fans, who continued to move in search of the suns rays, to take their eyes off the field. As the clock clicked down, the boys never let up for an instant, with defensive headers to clear the ball, scrambling wingers looking for the breakaway, centre fielders making the ball look like a member of the team.
The fans forgot the crisp, cold day and inside the last 10 minutes of the game our Storm boys finally linked up for the winning goal. The rivalry continues.
This is now the fourth undefeated game in a row for the Storm, and with another home game slated for this coming weekend against one of the best teams in the league, they seem poised to challenge whoever dares ride the ferry over here to a beautiful game of soccer.
– By Patrick Fitzsimons