This years Polonia Senior Men’s soccer team had an extraordinary season and one of the best in club history! The season started off with the same team as season prior with the addition of a few players coming from other teams that folded from the league, Tecumseh and Teutonia to name 2.
The season started off slow with a loss to the previous seasons winner Croatia in the last minute of the game, 2-1. As the season went on though, the team gained momentum and started on a winning streak to carried them to land near the top of the table. A few more tough loses to Hellenic and Leamington put the team about even on the season going into the Walter Lomas Tournament. In this tournament, Polonia played against Leamington in a game that marked the turn around in the league. Polonia fell to Leamington 9-1 on a rainy and sub-par Friday night in June. After this loss, the team had a massive turn around.
Polonia Men than went on a 10 game unbeaten streak, in the process winning 8 games and tying two, against the toughest of teams in the league. After another tough loss to Leamington, Polonia than went on to win 5 of the next 7 games, and tying the two other ones, on course to tie Croatia for the league leader and season Champions, but besting Croatia because of a head to head tiebreaker win, securing a league championship for Polonia Men’s Soccer Team!
The playoffs went into a chilly early October weekend, having Polonia play Windsor Serbs, and Croatia playing Hellenic. Undermanned Polonia came out firing and took a 3 goal lead against the Serbs early and even though letting in 2 late goals, held on to win 4-2, heading into the finals against heavy favourite Croatia.
The final saw Polonia at 10 men to start the game, given a high number of injuries and health concerns, Croatia though, at full strength. Croatia dominated to game from the first whistle, controlling possession for majority of the match. Late in the first half though, a moment of magic occurred when Santo Cozzolino scored a beauty of a goal from a free kick, putting Polonia ahead by 1, heading into the half. Late in the second half, trying to hold onto a one goal lead, Croatia tied it up late with a great effort from long distance that Jesse Talelli couldn’t keep out of the net even though making remarkable saves to this point.
The game went into penalty shots to settle the tie and the championship. Polonia keeper Jesse Talelli stood tall, saving the first two shots from Croatia, and Polonia netting the first 3 shots. A goal by Croatia on their fourth shooter set up a goal and win for Polonia. Mike Bochus stood up and put a beautiful shot past the Croatian goalkeeper, giving an exasperated Polonia team the title and Playoff league championship!!
Congratulations to all the players and fans of Polonia Men’s Soccer on a spectacular season of soccer! Till next year!!