By the Huntsville Soccer Club
Caplan finally gets his title
It was starting to look like Dave Caplan would go down in history as never having won a league title. For over a decade, his quest for glory—much like Gigi Buffon in the Champions League and Lionel Messi in the World Cup—so often coming up short.
But one magical night at the McCulley-Robertson soccer fields changed everything and the Barriston Law Group captain won his first Huntsville Soccer Club league championship.
“It’s a relief to get the monkey off my back,” exclaimed Caplan. “I’m so happy for my team, we really deserved this victory. All season we were the top team and we finished the job.”
Having been relegated to the goalkeeper for the season, Caplan was rock solid and produced clean sheets in both the semi-finals and final—a 1-0 win over the tough-as-nails Red Team captained by Chris Occhiuzzi and a 5-0 victory over Chuck Lefebvre’s Dr. Doug squad. Liam Wilson tallied the only Barriston Law Group goal in the semi-finals, while—according to a questionable referee’s report—Kate Kerr scored all five goals in the final.
“Once we beat the Reds, I knew we would go on to win it all,” said Caplan. “They played us tough all year long and each of our last three matches were one-goal decisions. My hats off to all our opponents this year, there was a lot of wonderful football played.”
Reds kick their way to third
Despite having to play the consolation match, the Reds and Greens—captained by Kyle Litchfield—played out a wonderful third place match. Both teams wanted to end the year with a win and it showed in the back-and-forth affair.
The Reds opened the scoring first mid-way through the second half after Occhiuzzi found Steve Fairhall with a lovely over-the-top ball to beat the Green defenders. Despite stout defending by the Reds—mostly centre back Brandon Occhiuzzi—the lead was erased late in the match when Mack Giles found the back of the net.
Extra time solved nothing, so it was on to penalty kicks to decide the match. Reds keeper Graham Pollington stopped three penalty kicks in the shootout.
“This match was a lot of fun to play,” said Chris Occhiuzzi. “Both teams were strong and really wanted to end the year off right. There was even some tension and fiestiness near the end of extra time, which added to the fun.”
Litchfield and Kirby take home individual awards
Carly Litchfield was honoured with the annual Fair Play Award for her positive attitude, strong play and friendly spirit both on and off the pitch. On the flip side, Haydn Kirby became the first two-time winner of the annual Wanker-of-the-Year.
“Truthfully, there weren’t many wankers this year and even I could have won it,” said league commissioner Chris Occhiuzzi, himself a former Wanker-of-the-Year recipient. “I pushed to give it to a certain referee who shall remain nameless. In the end, we chose Haydn because he would have a good laugh about it. But now that the precedent is set for a two-time winner of the dubious award, I’ll probably win it again next year.”
Don’t miss out on Doppler! Sign up for our free newsletter here.