Western Halifax FC wins Nova Scotia men's provincial title
Posted on 24 August 2016 in ↳ Challenge Trophy
Western Halifax FC won the 2016 Nova Scotia Soccer League Premiership men's championship to qualify for the Sport Chek National Championships. The Nova Scotia champions won 2:0 over Dartmouth United in the Semi-Final and 4:0 over Suburban FC in the provincial final.
Suburban FC's Jhonattan Cordoba, the NSSL's MVP and Golden Boot winner, hit the post in the 13th minute before Western Halifax replied with two goals before the end of the first half. Shane Rajaraman opened the scoring in the 26th minute after a free kick by Patrick Barnes and then Barnes made it 2-0 on a penalty in the 34th minute.
With Suburban FC pushing back, Western Halifax FC added two more goals in the dying minutes of the 23 August match, one by James Nearing and the other by Calum MacRae. Goalkeeper Christian Oxner posted the clean sheet while centre back Shawn Kodejs was Western Halifax FC's star of the match.
"We knew they were technically very good, but we had a commitment to defending and we made it difficult for them to get the ball where their players wanted to play," said Alan Jazic, coach of third-year club Western Halifax FC. "It worked out well."
In the provincial final, Western Halifax FC's starting XI featured Christian Oxner in goal, Jonny Doucet at right back, Pawel Gorski and Shawn Kodejs at centre back, Danny LeBlanc at left back, and Devin Tetlow, Shane Rajaraman, Zach Mbolekwa, Patrick Barnes, Calum MacRae, and Tyler Lewars from the midfield up through to the attack.
Wes Hawley, Jack Schembri, Mo Karkada and James Nearing featured as substitutes while T.J. Leopold, Matt Cousens, Drew Rajaraman, Ali Devereaux, and Jeff Arkin were on the bench. Jacob daCosta and Hugh Parslow were also part of the 2016 squad, but unavailable for the provincial final.
"It was really rewarding after our early season struggles," said Jazic. "We gelled at the right time and carried it into the playoffs."
Canada Soccer’s Sport Chek National Championships run 5-10 October 2016, with the adult amateur competitions hosted this year in St. John’s, Newfoundland Labrador. At all age levels, the Sport Check National Championships provide a meaningful soccer experience for host cities and participating teams, as well as the players, coaches, support staff, officials, and volunteers.