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Yorkton edges Central on penalties to win Moose Jaw high school boys soccer city title

Raiders emerge with 2-1 victory after scoring on all five kicks, claiming championship in first year in league
For most teams heading into their first year of playing in a new league, there’s a period of adjustment and growing before they ascend to the pinnacle of the standings.

The Yorkton Regional Raiders apparently wanted nothing to do with that plan in their debut campaign in the Moose Jaw high school boys soccer league

After a stellar regular season, the Raiders rolled to the championship final on Saturday afternoon at Sunningdale Field and would go on to a 2-1 penalty kicks victory over the Central Cyclones.

“It’s always nice when something like this happens, we’re pretty happy,” said Raiders captain  Amish Tripathy, who scored Yorkton’s lone goal in regulation. “Some of the boys are new to this team so I was happy that we could all connect and have a good season in our first year in the league.”

As well as things turned out in the contest, the Cyclones were able to make things exceedingly interesting -- and put a bit of a scare into their 5A opponents when they scored the first goal of the game early in the second half.

Landon Meacher did the honours for Central, capping off a flurry in the Yorkton box by rifling a shot pass Yorkton goaltender Chase Smyth.

“I think the momentum shifted to their team and we had to bring things up,” Tripathy said. “But once I was able to get our first goal we got the momentum back and we were able to get back into it from there.”

Tripathy’s goal came off a string of sustained pressure in Central’s half as time ran down in the half. 

Two 10-minute overtime periods decided nothing, leading to penalty kicks to decide things. Yorkton scored on all five, Moose Jaw had a single miss, leading to a raucous celebration when the Raiders’ Logan Westvelt netted the game-winner.

All in all, Tripathy was happy with how the Raiders played on the day, especially while pair of key components were out of their line-up.

“Our other captain Justin Adam and our centre back Noah Schneider, they’re a couple of big players on our team and we missed them, but I think we were pretty good today,” he said. “It was probably our strongest game we’ve played all season and it turned out really well.”

For Cyclones coach Holly McCorriston, seeing her crew show as well as they did against a perennial provincial favourite in the province’s largest high school division was a major positive -- especially to score the first goal and put all the pressure on them.

“That was a big deal, we’ve met up with them once before and had nothing near this result and hadn’t scored a goal against them until this game… it was high energy, a good game,” McCorriston said. 

It’s also a good sign heading into 4A regional playdowns this weekend, where the Cyclones are favoured to return to provincials.

“This is a strong team in our own class, so we’ll looking to go right to the end,” McCorriston said.