Can one player swing the balance of power in the Sudbury Regional Soccer Association men's premier soccer league this summer?
That might well be the question that is answered over the next two months. The Italia Flyers racked up their second straight lopsided victory Thursday night at Queen's Athletic Field, trouncing Sudbury United FC 11-1, largely on the back of a six-goal effort from Michael Marcantognini.
Just 17 years of age, Marcantognini committed, this past year, to a full scholarship with the Michigan State Spartans after completing his high school career with St. Andrews College in Aurora.
A member of Team Ontario in his youth, Marcantognini headed south following his Grade 9 year at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, allowing him much easier access to the provincial training program and the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan.
In two games to date back home, the talented striker has netted no less than 10 goals. Joel Cropp pitched in with a three-goal effort on Thursday, with Enzo Bitetto and Matt Cootes adding solo tallies, while Omar Allison of the Laurentian Voyageurs countered with the only goal for United.
It was a much closer affair in the nightcap as Marco Armiento scored twice, including once on a penalty kick, lifting Croatia Adria past the Sudbury Athletic Fury 2-0.
Mid-season tournament play kicks in next week as the teams begin to vie for the Dieder Alasat Memorial Trophy on Tuesday. Croatia Adria and Sudbury Athletic Voima will go toe to toe, with the winner advancing to face Sudbury United on Thursday.
The Italia Flyers and Sudbury Athletic Fury will also take to the pitch, on the same night, to determine the second finalist. The final of the Dieder Alasat competition is set for Tuesday, July 1 at 7 p.m. on the turf at James Jerome.