OAKVILLE, Ontario (BVM) — For the second season in a row, Blue Devils FC fell short of lifting the League1 Ontario crown. They were about to do something no team in the regional tournament has ever achieved: become champions for the third time. Although the Blue Devils could not return to the Canadian Championship this time, the crew led by the English coach Duncan Wilde left good vibes among its supporters.
Taha Ilyass was the Blue Devils’ most lethal weapon all year long. The Moroccan Canadian center forward averaged a goal a game over 19 matches this season and scored the goal versus Alliance United FC which handed over the Blue Devils the ticket to the finals. Ilyass was the only one who found the net in the crushing defeat against the Vaughan Azzurri, 5-1, during the final match in the Ontario Soccer Centre Stadium.
Mathew Santos, a former St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School and Canisius College player, was also a significant contributor. Although he started the season slowly — it took him six games to find the net for the first time — the midfielder native from Oakville scored seven times during the regular season and added another crucial punch in the semifinals.
The Blue Devils also benefited from the outstanding performance of their midfield trifecta: Kyle Porter, who scored a hat trick against Unionville Milliken SC, Brandon Duarte, the team leader in minutes played with the Blue Devils with 1,725, and Gianluca Spadafora, who exceeded 1,000 minutes of play this year. This partnership produced nine goals during the regular season.
Blue Devils FC will regroup and attempt to become the second League1 Ontario three-time winners after Vaughan Azzurri earned the distinction in 2022.
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