U17 Boys - Ontario Cup Finalists

2 years ago the 1993 boys of Aurora soccer were bottom dwellers. A few of the top players had just left, 2 new coaches had come in and there was a significant number of player turnaround as well. The team spent the winter of 2009 training, allowing for everyone to get to know each other. The boys started well winning the Oshawa Frank Sobeil Classic. The summer season to follow would end up on an average note with the boys placing mid-table in the lowest division. It was however a big improvement from the previous season.

Following a one month break and try-outs for the 2010 season, the boys were presented with a challenge. The coaching staff wanted more for their team so after a league structure overhaul, Aurora was given the opportunity to move up a division. The coaching Staff gladly accepted and then challenged the players; Step up and play hard, give it all or go home is what the message was. What would follow this challenge would be amazing.

Once the roster was finalized for the winter program, the team wasted little time and started training right away. The first stop was Aurora's Pro Youth Academy. By January 2010, the boys had been training now for 4 months. By April, 20 weeks had gone by and the team would hold one last set of spring try-outs before heading into the 2010 summer season. The team's first game would be in May- a CSL Cup match vs. Whitby A. Unfortunately the result was not very good losing heavily to a Whitby side from 2 levels above Aurora. After this loss the boys wouldn't look back.

The team entered the COVI tournament and won it all, not losing a game throughout the entire competition. The team spent the next couple of weeks following the tournament making final tweaks to the roster before the league began. In early June, the league would begin with the boys playing their first game away to Barrie.

A scary start to this one, it was a humid night and the boys were down 2-0. This would not be the way for the guys to start, so they kept fighting and came back to win the game 3-2 in fine fashion. This very game would set the tone for a great year. 25 goals scored for striker Antonio Savoia (tops in the league) and 0.88 goals against average by goal keeper Kevin Collins were just 2 of many stats which blew people away. The team allowed just 14 goals in 16 games. What a mark! All in all16 league games were played with 14 wins, 2 ties and 0 losses finishing the league undefeated. The guys also went for the Ontario Cup, coming up against teams who all play at higher levels. One by one, Aurora took them all down making it to the Ontario Cup finals.

By September of 2010, the boys had been crowned COVI Champs and had virtually clinched the league title with 2 games in hand. The Ontario Cup would ice the cake for sure. Unfortunately after a hard fought game, the boys couldn't pull it off losing 2-0 to Whitby in the finals. Being in the Finals alone was an accomplishment in itself and the guys should be proud of this. After the Ontario Cup the boys went and finished their remaining league games and decided to finish the year off with the Woodbridge Classic. The boys would cap their impressive campaign with one more tournament victory against yet another team from a higher level- Scarborough Malvern. Aurora took it 4-3 in penalties after a scoreless draw in regulation time. What an accomplishment for this program, especially to know how far they have come in just 2 years. Head Coach Mike Curci had this to say about the final game of the year: "It was beautiful! The guys played with heart. I've never seen them play with that much heart. The other team dominated the game; it was like Barcelona vs. Inter in the Champions league. We defended for an entire game and we never gave up. I am proud of what I saw in that game from all the boys. We had players playing hurt, it was just beautiful. A bunch of guys pulling together for one cause, it was great to watch. It was a perfect finish to a wonderful year!"

Special thanks go out to coaches Michael and Victoria Curci for all of their contributions throughout the season. What a great addition they were to the existing coaching staff of Mike Curci, Matt Rosati and Manager Carmen Giambattista. With a final view of the season overall, Coach Mike had this to say: "at the end of the day, we as a coaching staff pushed these guys hard. They now understand and have a small taste of what is required to play this game at a high level. Whether or not they take that route is beyond us as coaches, what is important is that they had a taste of it. We pushed their limits and I think each of these young men are stronger for it."

Congratulations to the entire team on a fantastic year.

This is a classic situation of hard work paying off.

Well done guys!


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