Youth: Shorthanded U17s defeat Ocala Stampede in Super Y-League action
U17 Super Y-League squad overcomes tired legs and a temporary man disadvantage for 2-1 road victoryOn an overcast Sunday evening the U17 Boys Super Y Purple squad made the trip to Ocala to face the Ocala Stampede. With only 10 outfield players and two goalkeepers able to make the journey, the boys were undermanned and slightly fatigued. Most players second or third game of the weekend. Despite the tired legs, our lads returned home with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
The U17s actually started the game with only 10 players due to Jarumi Bonnor running late. The numerical disadvantage did not stop the boys from starting the game well and maintaining good possession of the ball. After 20 minutes, Bonnor, having just arrived, broke free behind the Ocala back line on his first touch of the match. He delivered a powerful cross into the box which forced a handball from the Ocala centerback. Lenin Castillo calmly slotted home the PK to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
The only sub available on the day was the backup goalkeeper Tommy Alber. For the final 15 minutes of the half, Alber came in as the lone striker up top. Tommy provided some solid running and nice touches to help see the team through to half time.
The boys legs were beginning to show some heaviness, and Ocala did have their share of shots on goal but came up against an organized and stubborn Lions defensive unit marshaled by keeper Zak King. He was only called into action once and made a top class save on a strong Stampede effort.
The second frame began with one change, a swap at keeper. The boys started the half on top, keeping possession of the ball, showing patience and as well as a cutting edge when needed. Fullback Andrew Jablon doubled the Lions lead at the 60 minute mark. A diagonal ball deep into the box saw Jablon sneak around the back and connect with a first time volley that flew across the keeper into the far top corner for what was arguably the goal of the season for the U17 Purples.
Ocala pulled a goal back soon after, and pushed hard for a few minutes looking for the equalizer, but the lads showed brilliant game management and possession football to take the sting out of the game and control the majority of the half. Once again, our sub keeper, now Zak King, was called into action as a forward and almost got himself a goal.
It was a fantastic team performance, with a number of boys who haven’t always played a great deal this season coming into the line up and showing quality and desire. The goalkeepers deserve a special mention for filling in out of position and providing the team with some great running in the field.
We'll have additional weekend action from throughout the OCYS system tomorrow (Tuesday). For more on Orlando City Youth Soccer's programs, visit www.orlandocityyouth.org today!
U17 Boys Super Y Purple Head Coach Mark Lowry contributed to this report