Shvartsman scored with about 15 minutes remaining to give the Raiders a 1-0 win over the Three Oaks Axemen in the P.E.I. School Athletic Association Senior AAA Boys Soccer League championship game at the Terry Fox Sports Complex on Saturday.
“This one is definitely more memorable,” said the Charlottetown resident. “It’s my last year of playing, and to score the game-winning goal is something to remember.”
Shvartsman directed a cross from Cameron Trainor into the open net.
“I was at the right place at the right time,” said Shvartsman, who had just re-entered the game. “I came off, was a bit shaky and the coach motivated me.”
When asked if he could share his message to Shvartsman, Raiders coach Mark Caudle commented: “I just told him he needed to be a little sharper and play with more fire in the belly. He seemed like he was going through the motions a little bit. Right before he went on I told him I knew he could get one for us, and just get after it.”
Raiders keeper Tristan Russell recorded the shutout.
“He (Russell) made a big save with his foot (in the second half),” said Caudle. “He did exactly what we needed him to do, and he was a big part of this.”
Axemen keeper Randy Corkum also turned in some key saves to keep his team close.
Axemen head coach Greg McGuire said Rural was the better team in all aspects of the final.
“They were bigger, faster, stronger, won balls in the air, passed a little better,” assessed McGuire, who added Rural’s goal came off a broken play. “Our boys did real well to stay in there.”
Caudle felt the Raiders executed their game plan well.
“A good mix of short passing, but also we have some guys that can hit the long ball well,” continued Caudle. “That can back teams off and give them problems, especially in the wet conditions. . .
“We saw we were getting some chances off the long ball, so we kept playing a good mix. All the credit to TOSH. We knew they would be tough, and strong in the back.”
To illustrate how evenly-matched this year’s league was, Rural entered the playoffs seeded fourth while Three Oaks was sixth after winning only one regular-season game, but pulled upsets in the quarter- and semifinals.
“We got two-thirds of our season wins in the playoffs,” said McGuire. “I don’t think you win silver, you lose gold. But if there was ever a team that won silver, it was our boys.”
Also on Saturday, Carter Worth lifted the Bluefield Bobcats to a bronze medal.
Worth scored the only goal – 11 minutes into the second half – to give the Bobcats a 1-0 win over the Colonel Gray Colonels.
Ryan Boswall recorded the shutout for the Bobcats at the Terry Fox Sports Complex.