The Greater Sudbury Soccer Club (GSSC) Impact U-17 Boys might not yet have hit their stride in league play this summer, but that doesn't seem to be slowing them down at all in Central Soccer League (CSL) Cup play.
The locals blanked the Scarborough Azzurri Atletico 1-0 on Saturday at home, advancing to the Cup quarter-finals before dropping a 2-0 decision to the Woodbridge Strikers in league play on Sunday.
"I think we go into Cup play with a little more confidence because we are often playing teams that are in lower divisions, which doesn't necessarily mean they are worse," sweeper and team captain John Hick said. "(Scarborough) could definitely play in our league."
In fact, while Sudbury is back for another season of action with the CSL Level 3 ranks, Scarborough is absolutely dominating the CSL Level 4 Division II ranks, undefeated at 8-0-1 and outscoring their opponents 45-7.
Grayden Henschel netted the game's only goal with roughly 15 minutes to play and the combined efforts of Sudbury keeper Austin Hodkinson, as well as Hick and the Impact back-line, allowed the locals to earn a third straight Cup game at home, some time in August.
"We kept a slightly lower line, giving them a little less space behind us," Hick said, talking about the extremely quick visiting crew. "They couldn't use their pace quite as much. We also prevented them from turning on the ball, forcing them to pass it back."
In league play on Sunday, the Impact saw their record fall to 1-4-0, losing to Woodbridge (3-3-1).
Though the Sudbury side occupy last place in the seven-team loop, they still have more than half of their games remaining, including five of their last seven at home. As well, four of the opposing teams are only four points or less ahead, still giving coach Peter Zeman and company plenty of time to make a late-season run.
Hick acknowledged that there are still areas of improvement within the team that require some attention.
"We really wanted to keep the ball more this year," Hick said. "Last year, we played very good counter-attacking soccer, but we couldn't possess the ball as well."
The Impact resume league play Aug. 12, heading south to face the East York Soccer Club (2-1-1) before welcoming the Unionville-Milliken Strikers (2-4-1) to northern Ontario six days later.
As for the CSL Cup, Sudbury will now meet up with a familiar opponent, looking to move on against SC Toronto. Date, time and location of the game will be passed along as soon as they are confirmed by Impact team officials.
Posted by Laurel Myers