Last place finishers during the regular season, WL Storm, pulled off a pair of upsets in the Williams Lake Men’s Soccer League playoffs this week to earn a spot in Saturday’s final.
On Wednesday, Storm downed league champions and top seed Celtic Engineering 4-0. Pablo Aguero scored a pair of goals to pace the Storm, with Ken MacInnis and Michael Mthandazo chipping in with a goal each. Storm netminder Travis Nystoruk picked up the shutout in goal.
Nystoruk credits finally having a full roster and solid positional play for their success.
“We finished at the bottom because we struggled to field a full team most nights. The last couple games everyone’s showed up and they’ve played their positions and know their role on the team,” said Nystoruk.
The Storm will battle WLFC in the final, as they downed United Floors 3-2 in Tuesday’s other semi final.
WLFC trailed 1-0 at halftime but came out flying in the second half scoring three goals in the first 20 minutes to jump out to a 3-1 lead.
Diego Flores led the offence with a pair of goals.
United Floors mounted a serious comeback and got one back to cut the lead to 3-2. They had a great chance to tie the game but Nick Iachetta was robbed in close by goalkeeper Randy Riplinger.
Despite being dominated by WLFC all season, Storm are optimistic they can win Saturday.
“We’re really starting to play as a team and we’re looking forward to the final on Saturday. WLFC is one of the team’s we’ve struggled against this year but we should give them a good game,” said Nystoruk.
Storm advanced to the semis with a win over Windsor Plywood in a play-in game on Monday. Despite Windsor dominating possession and having the lion’s share of chances, Storm were able to squeak out a 2-1 victory thanks to some stellar netminding from Nystoruk.
“He made a lot of point-blank saves and was easily their best player,” said Windsor Plywood defender Kevin Ernst. “We (Windsor) were all over them and dominated most of the game but he was the difference.”
Storm took a 1-0 lead through Aguero late in the first half with Windsor lobbying for an offside call on the play. Brandon Phillips doubled Storm’s lead midway through the second half to make it 2-0. Windsor finally broke through on a Josh Mayard goal with about five minutes to go to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The men’s final kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Esler Soccer Complex with the consolation final between Celtic and United Floors at 1 p.m.
Following the games, the league and playoff awards presentations and a BBQ dinner will be held in the clubhouse. Tickets are free for players and $10 for additional guests.