By Larry Moko
Goalkeeping continues to be an area of strength for St. Jean de Brebeuf’s high school soccer team.
Luka Gavran was outstanding in goal for Brebeuf last season, helping the Braves win the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic boys’ indoor soccer championship. Ultimately, he also landed an NCAA Division I soccer scholarship to St. John’s University in Queen’s, N.Y.
This season, Gavran’s former backup Lucas Tomasio has the starter’s job in net. And thanks to a timely save by Tomasio Tuesday, Brebeuf blanked the St. Thomas More Knights 1-0 on penalty kicks to repeat as HWCAA indoor soccer champion.
The two-day tournament was held at Redeemer University College.
Brebeuf — on goals by Daniel Cavalluzzo, Nicholas Clayborne, Justin Garcia, Barry Khan and GianLuca Pontillo — won the shootout, 5-4. Each team had three shooters before the contest went to sudden death penalty kicks.
“Your heart is racing,” Tomasio said of emotions in felt. “It’s absolutely insane.
Tomasio said he marveled last season at the play of 6-foot-5, 200-pound Gavran – currently a redshirt freshman at St. John’s. “He was someone to look up to. He was magnificent. Absolutely incredible.”
On the sideline, Angelo Beatrice was making his indoor soccer coaching debut with Brebeuf after having spent the last five seasons as an assistant soccer coach at St. Thomas More.
“We have a really good group of guys who seem to be buying in to everything we’re doing,” Beatrice said. “This is just an introductory tournament, but I think we fared quite well.”
Other members of the Braves are Jason Bragues, George Elchuk, Matteo Ferreira, Roberto Firetto, Jakob Fonovic, Daniel Graham, Tyler Guppy, Tristan Kayiranga, Aymen Mosbah, Smith Okeke, Kalen Parris, Andre Pine, Malachi Storer and Eric Tantaru.
“This is the third year in a row that we’ve lost on penalty shots in the championship game,” said More coach Marinus Meulendyks. “I’m kind of tired of the story line.”
The Knights, however, are the defending HWCAA outdoor soccer champions.
“I like the play of our team,” Meulendyks added. “It’s just the pre-season. I have nothing to complain about. We didn’t allow a single goal from open play. I take away more positives than anything.”
In the consolation championship, the Cardinal Newman Cardinals edged the St. Mary Crusaders, 1-0, on penalty kicks. The team’s were tied 4-4 in the shootout until Jack Wismer booted in the deciding goal with a left-footer. Said Newman coach Gerry Moretuzzo: “The kid just came back from the OHL (Ontario Hockey League). “This was his first day touching a soccer ball.”
Wismer, a Newman soccer veteran, had 36 points in 68 games for the Flint Firebirds this season.
Source: Marnie Jadon