Sixteen-year-old Michael Baart’s mid-season arrival proved to be the final piece of the puzzle for the Victoria United under-21 soccer team.
Baart, a St. Michaels University School student, scored twice in the final on Sunday to push United past host Chilliwack FC in the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Challenge Cup final, 3-1.
“Baart only played 20 minutes, coming on at half, then coming off again because he was feeling quite queezy out there,” said United coach Drew Brittain.
United finished second in the league standings behind Kamloops. But in the semifinal on Friday, Kamloops fell prey to host Chilliwack, the fourth-place team, which took advantage of playing at home.
The most dramatic moment of the weekend was captain Jared Atchison’s game-winning goal in the final minute, as United squeaked past West Vancouver 3-2.
“It was (Atchison’s) only goal of the entire season, unbelievable,” Brittain said.
Nils Webber scored the first goal of the final before Baart scored his two. United goalie Ryan Hulstein was named MVP of the final.
The 23-year-old is one of five over-age players permitted on the U-21 team.