Greenfield reclaims GSL men’s crown, sweeps Vankleek Hill
It seems the players on Greenfield’s senior men’s soccer team saved their best for the latter stages of the 2017 season. After a slower-than-usual start to the summer campaign, the men stepped up their game, sweeping both rounds of playoffs to reclaim the Glengarry Soccer League championship.
After losing the title in 2016 to the rival Drillers, Greenfield opened this season with mixed results, as the squad hovered around the middle of the standings.
It came down to the last match of the regular season, where a win clinched top spot for Greenfield, one point ahead of Vankleek Hill.
After dispatching Glen Sandfield in a two- game sweep, the Greenfield men met Vankleek Hill in the final series, a best-ofthree affair, which kicked off Aug. 23 in Dunvegan.
The temperature of the game elevated as time went along, though it remained scoreless well into the second half.
Greenfield’s Brenden Sanders had a glorious opportunity to crack the goose egg, only to see the bending shot deflect off the crossbar, harmlessly away from the net.
However, a few minutes later, a deep crossing shot fired over numerous heads found a wideopen Kyle Howes at the edge of the box, and the marksman made no mistake, booting home what would turn out to be the game’s only goal.
The referee was challenged in the latter stages to keep a lid on player emotions, with a smattering of physicality and chirping.
Greenfield sustained a stretch of offensive pressure following the goal, looking to salt the match away, but was unable to find the net for an insurance tally.
Vankleek Hill mounted a late push, but was prevented from any dangerous shots on net, as Greenfield secured the 1-0 win for the lead in the series.
The squads reconvened two evenings later in Vankleek Hill, and once again emotions were running high.
After trading tallies in the first half, Greenfield took the lead at the 55-minute mark.
Physical play picked up as the match wore on, with the Orange Shirts playing desperate soccer.
In the waning moments, Vankleek Hill took down a Greenfield man in the goal box, with a penalty kick awarded. Mike Buhr capitalized to put his side up 3-1, and that’s how the game would finish, as Greenfield prevailed to take the championship in a sweep.
Vanderwielen and Ryan Wert also scored for the victors, while Steve Gauvreau had the lone tally for the hosts.
The GSL title is Greenfield’s fifth in the last six years. After winning the first of four straight in 2012, the Drillers interrupted the string in 2016.
DETERMINATION: Greenfield’s Ryan Vanderwielen (red/black jersey) battles with Vankleek Hill player Olivier Martineau in action from game one of the Glengarry Soccer League senior men’s championship series, on the pitch in Dunvegan.
THE BEST: Greenfield is back on top in the Glengarry Soccer League, as winners of the senior men’s division playoff championship. Standing from left are Zack Van Loon, Ryan Vanderwielen, Brenden Sanders, Steve McBain, Sullivan Van Loon, Colin Sanders,...