ST. THOMAS - St. Marys Juggernauts travelled here to play a league game Sunday and came away with a 4-0 victory to secure three comfortable points and maintain first place in the Third Division of the Western Ontario Men's Soccer League.
St. Thomas had not been a kind visit for Juggernauts in the past and with the team dressing only 14 players and three of then not 100 per cent, it would be a journey into the unknown.
Although it was a largely altered club due to injuries and vacation, it was a wholly familiar outcome. With a successive 4-0 victory and sixth win of the season, Juggernauts cruised to victory by some outstanding play for fullback Evan Doupe and midfielder Mike Weersink.
From the moment Doupe set up a corner kick, Weersink floated in the corner kick to the advancing Harm Vosters for the opening goal on the quarter hour, the result was never in question.
Barely five minutes later, Doupe and Weersink repeated the play with Korey Graham knocking in the cross. The third goal of the half came when midfielder James Flanagan threaded a ball behind the St. Thomas defence that sent striker Dave Grant on a breakaway and he then deftly slipped the ball through the advancing keeper's legs to put St. Marys up by three at the half.
The visitors had numerous other scoring chances as Flanagan and Stephen Treadway combined to release various Juggernauts on net, only to be denied by some fine stop-keeping from the St. Thomas goalie.
With Juggernauts working some fine bench management, the team had the luxury moving players around to gain experience but the theme of the game altered little as St. Marys kept St. Thomas on their heels.
The fourth goal came from a series of passes strung together that left St. Thomas heads twisted as they tried to follow the ball and only caught up with it after striker Shane Ryan pounded it into the net for its final resting place.
Keeper John Stuart preserved his shutout by stretching to gather in a high cross to deny a St. Thomas striker to head it into the net. The shutout was Stuart's fifth in seven league games.
Stuart found a great partnership today with his back line of Doupe, Vosters, Jonny Thompson and Brian Brand, and St. Thomas found it to be a wall with few ways to get through.
"We had an exceptional game from all the players today," summed up coach John Flanagan.
"Everyone was on top of their game and in particular midfielder Darryl Sterkenburg with some great touches and physical play (for Sterkie, even he was surprised knocking players off the ball) and Dave Grant who played both striker and fullback and proved his ability to slip in where the team requires his services.
"Trevor Voyce had his usual game which is always top-notch. We just expect it game in and game out from Trevor. He plays such a great holding midfielder position that sets up his partner in crime Darryl Thompson to go on marauding runs into the heat of the opposition defence. Thompson was a bit unlucky today in not scoring," Flanagan added.
Upcoming- Juggernauts' next league game is Wednesday, July 11 in Exeter.
"The team hopes to arrange a few exhibition games over the next two weeks. This will allow us to keep in game shape and then we can ease players coming back from injury into the line-up," coach Gord Moylan noted.