CAN WATERLOO REPEAT ?
The best is yet to come: president Tony Kocis
TORONTO – Tuesday, May 19, 2014 – Enormous personal satisfaction enveloped SC Waterloo head coach Lazo Dzepina as the final whistle blew to end the Canadian Soccer League championship final at the Kalar Sports Park in Niagara Falls late Sunday afternoon on November 3.
Dzepina wrote the script after all, a scheme to bottle up a prolific opposition trio that had everything to do with the Kingston team finding the net more than any other in the league, resulting in an impressive, relentless week-by-week goal production that contributed more than anything else to the eastern Ontario team winning the First Division title.
Dzepina was aware striker Guillaume Surot had just hours earlier been feted with no less than three awards including the CSL’s MVP for his goalscoring, and that the native of Vihiers, France was determined to cap the season with much of the same today.
The Waterloo defence worked the script and the lone Kingston goal – by midfielder Nathan Klemencic in the 3-1 result – meant the well-marked goalscoring trio had failed, and this led to a Waterloo victory.
“We added two important players and following a regular season loss to Kingston we worked on a number of things to give us a good chance if we were to meet this team in the playoffs and It all came together, ” said Dzepina through interpreter Zoran Kukic following the final whistle.
“We do believe there is more to come,” said a confident Waterloo president Tony Kocis recently. We certainly peaked at the right time last season but our best soccer is in the future.” The club represents a large section of Southwestern Ontario and is now entering its fourth season in the CSL.
Waterloo will be bidding for a top four finish at the end of the upcoming regular season – the club finished fifth in 2013 to just miss home advantage in the playoffs. Another goal is to be placed in the top three in the CSL’s competitive Second Division.
The team has re-signed Kitchener native Jake Inglis, to a professional contract that will see the young defender stay until 2016 and a two new signings are expected soon following a busy European scouting mission by the head coach. Dzepina, 46, played professionally in Europe before arriving in Canada to play a brief period for the CSL’s Hamilton Thunderbirds in 2005. The highly regarded coach holds a UEFA licence and coached NK Dinara of Croatia, his last club in Europe before settling in Canada.
While it is clear the will to win is an integral part of the SC Waterloo culture, reflected by the unprecedented double header achievement to include the Second Division Championship win on November 3 – it also speaks of the quality of the organization in terms of player development from which young players in the region will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
And they are wondering now if Waterloo can repeat in 2014.
Media recap: SC Waterloo, just three years in the Canadian Soccer League, stunned just about everyone by reaching the CSL Championship Final and the Second Division Championship Final, a double-header event at Kalar Park, Niagara Falls on November 3, 2013.
Waterloo went on to win both games convincingly, defeating First Division winner Kingston FC, 3-1, and the Second Division winner Toronto Croatia B, 2-0.
No club had previously won both finals.