Pla­cen­tia Lions suc­ceed at soc­cer

Un­der-14 boys win Provin­cial D cham­pi­onship

The Compass - - Sports - Ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Ac­cord­ing to the team’s coach, most play­ers on the un­der-14 Pla­cen­tia Lions boys soc­cer squad had lim­ited ex­pe­ri­ence prior to suit­ing up for provin­cials ear­lier this month.

“We had four kids that played on a high school team, and the other 13, they played their first ever game of soc­cer (at provin­cials),” coach Larry Brewer told The Com­pass.

The lack of ex­pe­ri­ence on the soc­cer pitch didn’t hurt the team all that much. With a provin­cial ti­tle at stake, the Lions roared their way to vic­tory on the strength of Gavin Pitcher’s win­ning goal in the se­cond half of ex­tra-time. The goal gave Pla­cen­tia a 1-0 win over the Con­cep­tion Bay North Shan­nons in the New­found­land and Labrador Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion Provin­cial D Cham­pi­onship.

“There are no words to de­scribe it,” said Brewer. “Ev­ery­one just jumped up in the air cel­e­brat­ing.”

Pla­cen­tia’s rep­u­ta­tion for pro­duc­ing some of New­found­land and Labrador’s best soft­ball play­ers is firmly es­tab­lished, and plenty of young hockey play­ers in the area have shown prom­ise. Brewer said soc­cer def­i­nitely takes a back seat to those two sports lo­cally for younger ath­letes.

Head­ing into the tour­na­ment hosted in Har­bour Grace, Brewer was ex­pect­ing his team to play hard, no mat­ter the chal­lenge be­fore them.

After mak­ing it through the round-robin por­tion of the 10team tour­na­ment with a win, two losses and a tie, Pla­cen­tia found it­self fac­ing the Shan­nons in the D fi­nal. The two teams knew they were well matched, hav­ing bat­tled to a 1-1 draw ear­lier in the tour­na­ment.

“I thought our chances were pretty good ac­tu­ally, be­cause they had a cou­ple of nice play­ers, which I matched up against with a cou­ple of my good play­ers, and I felt they were the same cal­iber as us,” said Brewer.

After Pitcher notched what proved to be the win­ning goal, the play­ers man­aged to set­tle down and get through the fi­nal five min­utes with­out sur­ren­der­ing a late goal.

“I feel like they han­dled them­selves as a ma­ture group,” Brewer said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mem­bers of the Pla­cen­tia Lions un­der-14 club that won the New­found­land and Labrador Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion Provin­cial D Cham­pi­onship Sun­day, Aug. 6. Top row (l-r): trainer Tay­lor Hann, head coach Larry Brewer, Brady Judge, Ryan Bar­nett, Evan Con­nors, Owen Edi­son, Chris Read­ing, Gavin Pitcher, Liam Ryan, Harsh Ba­hourn, coach Zach Young, coach Kolton Green; bottom row: Brady O’Keefe, Luke Davis, Al­lan Line­han, Colin O’Keefe, Charles Ne­whook, James Barry, Nick Read­ing and Luke Wad­man. In front: Blake O’Keefe.

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