A young Aldergrove soccer player has a national championship under his belt after his Surrey United SC team stormed its way to five consecutive wins at the U-16 Cup at the 2012 Canadian Soccer Association National Championships.
Joel Waterman, 16, contributed a goal in the first game against Newfoundland Labrador’s St. John’s SC on the opening day, Oct. 3 in Charlottetown, PEI. The B.C. boys blanked the Newfoundland-Labrador lads 4-0.
The next day’s game against Quebec was closer on the scoresheet, but B.C. took the 3-2 win.
This was followed by two more blankings as B.C. defeated Alberta 3-0 and Saskatchewan 7-0.
The final game against Ontario was also close as both teams were scoreless at the end of regulation time. The game was settled on penalty kicks, with B.C. earning a 5-3 win and the championship.
Waterman, a 5’11” midfielder weighing in at 140 lbs., said that, ironically, two of the B.C. penalty kicks were called back by referees and B.C. scored on both of them.
“It was very intense,” said Waterman. “Ontario were very good.”
It was Waterman’s first foray to Prince Edward Island.
“It was really flat, pretty cold with lots of weather changes and lots of wind. We would kick the ball and it would come right back at us,” said Waterman, noting that this disadvantage was shared by the opposing team when they switched sides.
He credits his high performance league teammates and coach Frank McCann for the excellent results at the championship.
“Frank is great, he ‘gets’ it and he connects well with the team.”
Waterman was looking for the challenge of high performance when he switched from Langley United last year, after playing for Aldergrove United from ages five to ten, then Langley through U-12 to U-14.
It’s a busy schedule as the team practices at Cloverdale Athletic Park and Hjorth Park every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, plus a game on Saturday. Wednesday practices are devoted to speed and agility exercises.
However, he still finds time to play for his Aldergrove Secondary senior boys’ soccer squad. He is in grade 11.
“I like Aldergrove Secondary and we’ve won three games, we only lost one.”
His fraternal twin sister also plays soccer for the school, while his older brother has launched a career as a musician with the popular local band, The Specialties.
“I used to play ball hockey but it’s all soccer now. I need some time to focus on my grades too,” said Waterman, who hopes to play for his post-secondary school too.