Newman junior soccer boys continue to dominate

They’ll be talking about the 2013 high school soccer season for many years to come at Cardinal Newman.

Of the six teams that Newman entered in Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association girls and boys soccer competition this season, five won league championships. Only the indoor girls’ soccer title eluded the Cardinals. And that was as close as you can get – a 2-1 overtime shootout loss to the St. Mary Crusaders in the final.

Newman’s boys captured top honours indoors a few months ago at Players Paradise. And outdoors, the Stoney Creek school’s junior boys, junior girls, senior boys and senior girls each won HWCAA gold medals.

The Cardinal Newman junior boys’ capped the remarkable campaign Wednesday (June 5) with a 3-0 victory over the Bishop Tonnos Titans on the artificial turf at St. Thomas More Secondary School. It was the 13th time in the past 15 years that the Newman junior boys have come out on top.

The undefeated HWCAA champion 2013 Cardinal Newman junior boys’ soccer team. (Photo: Vanessa Georgiades)

Newman went undefeated in six regular-season starts and two more in the playoffs. The Cardinals scored a total of 36 goals, while allowing just three.

Paolo Mamone, Alex Tougher and Tomasz Skublak handled the scoring for Newman and Lucas Uggenti picked up the shutout.

“I’m impressed with them,” Tonnos’ coach Claire Burke said of the Newman junior boys squad. “That’s a sweep for them (outdoors) in junior and senior boys and girls. They’re a soccer world out there. They’re an area of the city that just dominates in soccer. Ancaster is coming up, though. Bishop Tonnos is doing well. I think the tide will turn eventually, but it will take a little more time.”

Burke said although Tonnos has only been in existence for less than a decade, the Titans have become regulars in the junior boys’ finals – winning in 2010.

Tonnos came close to scoring a couple of times. Goalkeeper Lucas Uggenti was forced to leap and deflect Rob Tamale’s drive off the crossbar and out. And the Newman keeper was later called upon to make a diving hand save of a low 25-yard shot by Evan Kirkelds.

Ancaster’s Bishop Tonnos are building as division rivals to the Stoney Creek powerhouse, having made regular appearences in the junior boys’ final. (Photo: Vanessa Georgiades)

Mamone’s goal was a blast to the top corner from 30 yards.

“That was probably the best goal I’ve seen all year,” said coach Frank Rizzuti, who has been coaching junior boys at Newman for 16 years. “It was well struck. He’s a captain. He’s one of the guys we rely upon and he came through today.”

Tougher’s goal rolled in after deflecting off both goal posts.

Skublak then completed the scoring when his hard shot was only partially stopped by Tonnos goalie Pasquale Frappa. On the play, Skublak and the teammate who made the pass (Josh Ciuro) celebrated by pretending to polish Skublak’s boot.

“We both play for Saltfleet, as well,” Ciuro said. “Yesterday (in the OYSL) we were trying to do it but we messed up. So today we promised each other if we scored we’d do the celebration.”

Rizzuti said there is a lot of talent at Newman, but sweeping the outdoor championships at junior and senior is still a rare feat. He wasn’t sure how often it has been done before.

“It’s a great compliment to our Stoney Creek community and the club coaches who organize these players and develop them,” Rizzuti said. “They come to the school knowing the tradition. They come to the school knowing they are playing for the past, the present and the future. They buy into it. They know what they have to do.

“It’s a winning tradition and they are confident every time they go out on to the field.”

Other players on the Newman roster are Shawndel Ferron, Devante Stewart, Adam Passaretti, Auden Podrebarac, Steven Frketich, Andrea Truyen, Josh Ciuro, Josh Nardini, Pawel Sokolowski, Clark Adams, Adam Villella, Jordan Rimac, Adam Antonucci and Andrew Powlawski.

“This is probably one of the best groups, if not the best, in the past 15 years,” Rizzuti said. “It’s a special group.”

Rizzuti, who also coaches at the club level in Ancaster, was coaching against his son Marcus, a player for the Titans.