GOLDEN GOAL

Prince Ed­ward Is­land wins un­der-13 re­gional ti­tle on home turf

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

P.E.I. team weath­ers the storm to win At­lantic soc­cer cham­pi­onship.

Prince Ed­ward Is­land weath­ered the storm in be­tween early and late goals to win At­lantic gold Sun­day at the Bell Aliant un­der-13 girls’ soc­cer cham­pi­onship.

P.E.I. de­feated New Brunswick 2-0 at UPEI to win the tour­na­ment for the first time in re­cent mem­ory.

Cyla McCloskey gave the host squad an early lead and it proved to be the game-win­ning goal.

“Ria John­ston crossed it from a cor­ner kick and I hit it with my chest into the net,” ex­plained the 12-year-old North Wilt­shire res­i­dent.

“It was ex­cit­ing.”

New Brunswick car­ried the play for much of the game, hem­ming P.E.I. deep in their own end for long stretches of time.

“The girls stood strong, did their job and weath­ered the storm,” head coach Jonathan Vos said.

When New Brunswick was able to get Grade A chances, keeper Alayna Tren­holm rose to the oc­ca­sion.

“She’s been amaz­ing,” Vos said. “She’s been solid, con­sis­tent, and that’s all you can ask for in your keep­ers, and then make the big saves when they count, and she did to­day.”

It in­cluded a quick re­ac­tion save in tight and an­other stop, where she was able to tip the ball over the net.

Tren­holm said it was a nice feel­ing to win the tour­na­ment af­ter play­ing on the team a year ago that fin­ished fourth in St. John’s, N.L.

“While play­ing the game, it was kind of stress­ful, but I knew we could do it,” the 13-yearold Sum­mer­side res­i­dent said. “Af­ter we got a goal, I just felt like, ‘We had this, 100 per cent’.”

McCloskey said they were able to keep pos­i­tive and con­fi­dent in their abil­i­ties while New Brunswick was ap­ply­ing pres­sure.

“We just thought about the lit­tle things we had to do to win the game.”

Paige MacLean chipped a ball past the New Brunswick keeper to pro­vide the in­sur­ance goal in the 59th minute. It seemed to en­er­gize the host squad, as they con­trolled the play for much of the re­main­ing 14 min­utes.

Vos, who has coached the P.E.I. squad since Oc­to­ber, said he was pleased for the young, ded­i­cated group.

“It’s been amaz­ing to see them grow.” He said. “It’s a great group to work with. They’re fo­cused and look­ing to learn.”

P.E.I. went 1-0-2 in pre­lim­i­nary play with ties against New­found­land and Labrador and Nova Sco­tia and a 3-1 win over New Brunswick on Satur­day. Half of the six pre­lim­i­nary round games ended in draws.

Three bronze medals

Prince Ed­ward Is­land also earned three bronze medals dur­ing other At­lantic soc­cer cham­pi­onships Sun­day.

P.E.I. de­feated New­found­land and Labrador in penalty kicks af­ter a score­less game in the un­der-14 bronze medal game at UPEI.

The Is­land won 4-1 over New­found­land and Labrador in the un­der-13 boys’ third-place game. James Doucette scored three times while Liam Wood added a sin­gle.

P.E.I. beat New­found­land and Labrador in penalty kicks to de­cide the bronze medal­list in the un­der-14 boys’ tour­na­ment. The game was tied 1-1 af­ter reg­u­la­tion with Sa­muel Akin­sola scor­ing for the Is­land.

The boys tour­na­ment was held in Cor­ner Brook, N.L.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

P.E.I. de­feated New Brunswick 2-0 Sun­day in Char­lot­te­town to win the Bell Aliant At­lantic un­der-13 girls’ soc­cer cham­pi­onship. Team mem­bers, front row, from left are Ria John­ston, Grace McQuaid, Katie Mur­phy, Paige MacLean, Zoe Olscamp, Kate Camp­bell and Lind­say Ste­wart. Sec­ond row, as­sis­tant coach Lynn Olscamp, Siza Ng­wenya, Sarah MacEachern, Ly­dia Hamill, Cyla McCloskey, Ava Sin­nott, Alayna Tren­holm, So­phie Free­man, Sophia Li, Tessa Dodds, Katie Acorn and head coach Jonathan Vos. Third row, man­ager Mitch Free­man.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Prince Ed­ward Is­land’s Ria John­ston, right, chases a bounc­ing ball Sun­day dur­ing the fi­nal of the Bell Aliant At­lantic un­der-13 girls’ soc­cer cham­pi­onship at UPEI.

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