Kingston has a championship pro soccer team.
Kingston’s reserves – who lost just one game all season – defeated Waterloo 2-0 Sunday in Toronto to take the Canadian Soccer League’s second division championship.
The game winner was scored at the 19 minute mark by Kingston’s own Simon Schmitke who joined the team right out of Regiopolis and is now in first year at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Schmitke scored on a pass from Jinmi Ismail who was nominated for rookie of the year.
The victory was sealed on a three-way passing play – again with Ismail involved – that led to a goal by Mademba Ba, the second division’s leading scorer and the league’s most valuable player. Ba – a University of Ottawa grad – scored 31 goals in 11 regular season games.
The shut-out went to the reserve’s keeper Yasuto Hoshiko.
The team’s chair, Lorne Abugov, was ecstatic at the result. Last season, Kingston FC’s first division team finished first, won its quarter and semi-final playoff games but lost to Waterloo 3-1 in the playoff final, played in Niagara Falls.
“Last season we concentrated on building a good first team. This season we decided we wanted improve our second team and make it a team where future first team players could learn our system and develop. I am delighted that we achieved that goal.”
Abugov said another goal was to give outstanding Canadian talent a chance to play with international players – and improve with that experience. “I am really excited that the two goals were scored by a hometown player from Kingston and by a graduate from the University of Ottawa.”
Abugov said he was especially appreciative of the team’s coach, Tom Moran from Belleville. “Tom kept team morale high and kept the players playing as a team even as – several times during the season – we took his best players away from him and moved them to the first team.”