West Side Monarchs’ Patrick Fewer, front, tangles with Sorrento Tactics FC’s Brady Cook during their game at the Wellington Street Sports Complex Wednesday.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
CORNER BROOK Being one out of three ain’t bad.
With a 2-0 victory over the Sorrento Tactics FC Wednesday night at Wellington Street Sports Complex, the West Side Monarchs clinched third place in the Corner Brook Molson Senior Men’s Soccer League standings. That means the Monarchs, along with the Health and Performance Physiotherapy Hawks and Steers Insurance Curling Rangers, automatically qualify for the elimination round of the league playoffs.
The bottom three teams — Clancy’s Soccer Club, Under-18s and the Tactics — will compete in a round robin to determine which team joins the top three as the fourth seed. Those top three clubs will also play a round robin during this time to determine seeding for the elimination round.
Riley Cook and Chris Grant scored for the Monarchs in the victory.
Bruce Grobbelaar registered the clean sheet.
Evan Fequet suffered the defeat at the other end of the field.
Clinching third spot before their season finale on Sunday was the goal going in, according to Monarchs’ Mark Fitzpatrick. Especially since that final game is against Clancy’s Soccer Club, a team that would have pulled even with them in the standings had the Monarchs lost out the schedule.
“That’s a weight off our shoulders,” Fitzpatrick said. “But, more importantly, we’re pleased to come out and play well after a bad game earlier in the week.”
Fitzpatrick was speaking of a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Hawks on Monday night, one that didn’t sit well with the gold and black. After snagging former Premier League star Grobbelaar to play in goal, the Monarchs became a trendy pick to take the league championship this year, but their performances have been up and down ever since. The consistency they hoped would finally develop this season never really did.
Still, Fitzpatrick and his teammates do feel this year isn’t like all the others and league supremacy can still be within their grasp.
“We’re a lot better, a lot stronger in all areas of the pitch and we’re coming together more as a team,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re definitely feeling positive going into it.”
On Wednesday night, Cook’s goal in the 18th minute put the Monarchs ahead, for what turned out to be for good.
Grant’s goal came in the 90th minute, with the game all but over.
The victory served as a reminder to the Monarchs of just how good they can be when everything is clicking. In fact, Fitzpatrick said, if it wasn’t for the goalkeeping of Fequet, they may have run away with it. Though he was quick to credit the Tactics netminder for several point-blank saves, the lack of finish was a little concerning all the same.
“We had way more chances than we actually put in,” said Fitzpatrick. “But hopefully the goals will come now when we need them to.
“We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing, maybe take a few more shots on goal if we have the opportunity, to create more chances,” he added. “Our biggest problem then is actually finishing those chances.”
The following is a summary of the other league game on Wednesday night:
Rangers 1, Under-18s 1
Lyle Griffin scored for the Rangers as they played the Under-18s to a draw.
The goalscorer for the Under-18s wasn’t available at press time.
The Hawks sit atop the league standings with a 16-3-1 record for 52 points, with the Rangers behind them with 44 points and a record of 14-4-2. The Monarchs snagged third with a 9-11-1 record and 28 points. Trailing them are Clancy’s Soccer Club, with a record of 3-4-1 and 20 points in an abbreviated schedule that saw each game worth double. The Tactics fall to 4-14-1 and 13 points, while the Under-18s are 3-14-4 for 13 points.