Braves Clinch First Junior Soccer Title Since 1987

Brébeuf Braves Clinch First Junior Soccer Title Since 1987
Posted on 06/05/2024

By Larry Moko

For the first time in 36 years the St. Jean de Brébeuf Braves have won a Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic junior boys’ high school soccer championship.

The league’s trophy has been around since 1994, but none of the engraved shields on it indicate a Brébeuf title. So Braves coach Rob Woloch did a little more investigating.

“I checked at school and the last time the Brébeuf junior boys won the city championship was 1987-88,” Woloch said Tuesday.

The Braves took top honours on their home field this year with a 5-2 decision over the Bishop Tonnos Titans.

“If we won it before I knew it was definitely a long time ago,” Woloch said after the awards ceremony. “It’s nice for Brébeuf.”

The Braves opened the scoring when Patrick Krysinski tapped the ball into the net after gaining control of Luca Begin’s free kick into the box.

Santiago Ortiz made it 2-0 before the half when he finished a three-way passing play with Julian Camara and Prince Makita-Collard.

“We played really well in the first half,” Woloch said. “It felt like we kind of controlled the game. In the second half, they pushed more guys up and created more chances. There was a little more back and forth play.”

Tonnos got on the scoreboard immediately after Yazen Alighizzarri got pulled down for a free kick just outside the penalty area. As a result Renton Leighton fired a shot that went in off the hands of the Brébeuf goalkeeper.

The Braves then made it 3-1 on a corner kick by Begin.

“The corner may have taken a deflection,” the Brébeuf coach said. “It was hard to see because a bunch of guys went to it. If it took a touch it might have been off of one of their players.”

Leighton’s second goal of the game – a low hard shot – narrowed the gap to 3-2.

But Brébeuf padded its margin again when Makita-Collard scored on a perfect set-up pass from midfielder Chris Simrak.

Krysinski’s header capped the scoring.

“Our guys did well in responding to the pressure they gave us,” Woloch said. “We scored a couple of extra goals. We’ve fought through it like that all year, showing determination.”

For the Braves, it was their second consecutive appearance in the final. Last year they fell to the Bishop Ryan Celtics.

“I thought we had it last year,” said Simrak, “Today, we were kind of flat at the start of the second half but we reset, calmed down and went through.”

 Brébeuf finished second during the regular season with a record of 4-1-1. The Braves then downed the St. Mary Crusaders and Bishop Ryan, in the quarter-final and semifinals, respectively.

Fifth-place Tonnos was only 1-5 before their playoff victories over the St. Thomas More Knights and the first-place St. John Henry Newman Cardinals.

“Things didn’t go our way today, but I’m really proud of this group,” Titans coach Angelo Beatrice said. “We started our season with a pretty rough record. We always knew we had the ability to get here, though. I wasn’t surprised when things finally started to come around and we gelled really well.”

Beatrice said a change in formation led to Tonnos’ improved play. “I’m optimistic that BT soccer will be very competitive in the near future.”

Other Brébeuf players included Marquise Newman, Cristiano Benevides, Pierce Mcfawn, Daniel Neto, Anthony D’Alesio, Jan Bareno, Sebastian Alfano, Akarika Dawn, Santiago Ortiz, Anthony Sozio, Sebastian Martinez, Nico Santos, Luca Curcio, Joseph Huskick, Dawson Dos Santos and Olaff Flores.

Photos by Richard Andoga

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