August 6-21, 2022
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by: Bill Potrecz, BP Sports Niagara

St. Catharines’ Petrucci nabs silver in soccer at Niagara 2022

Mason Petrucci had a difficult time hiding his disappointment after missing out on a gold medal Friday night.

The 18-year-old St. Catharines resident earned a silver as Team Ontario dropped a 3-0 decision to Team Quebec in the men’s soccer gold medal game at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.

“Watching them celebrate and thinking that could be us, it’s just heartbreaking,” Petrucci said. “Not everything goes you way and sometimes you have to look to the future and use it as motivation.”

Playing before packed stands at Youngs Sportsplex in Welland, Team Ontario fell behind early but only trailed by one at the half.

“We were looking to get one back right away but obviously it didn’t come,” he said. “We were looking to get more on the attack but it just didn’t work out for us.”

Quebec added a second goal in the second half before wrapping up the scoring in extra time.

Petrucci came away impressed with Team Quebec. 

“I found Quebec to be fast, physical and involved. We tried to use our tactical and have a physical presence but they were just better. They played a 5-3-2, a new formation we haven’t seen at this tournament.

“Playing against a team like that helps us grow and become better players.”

Team Ontario was composed of players from Toronto FC Academy where Petrucci has played for the last two seasons. 

“Obviously, Quebec and Ontario are two of the biggest provinces in soccer in Canada,” Petrucci said. “Most of the National Team comes from those two provinces and that’s why it was a real tough game.”

Petrucci does have a shiny, silver medal to commemorate his involvement in the Games. 

“I’m proud to represent Ontario and play in Niagara in front of my family and friends,” he said. “You just have to look at the positives of things. Just go back to training and use this as motivation to make us better for next time.

“We’ll be back.”

Petrucci will be heading to Brock University to study sport management this fall while continuing to train with Toronto FC Academy.

He knows it won’t be easy to balance soccer and post secondary schooling.

“It’s gonna be pretty tough, but I’m sure I can work something out.”

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