Glen­garry DHS ju­nior boys score EOSSAA soccer cham­pi­onship

The Glengarry News - - Sports in the Glens - News. The Glen­garry

BY SEAN BRAY Sports Ed­i­tor As the say­ing goes, de­fence wins cham­pi­onships, and that strat­egy seemed to be key last week for the Glen­garry District High School ju­nior boys soccer team at ‘A’ EOSSAA, in Wil­liamstown, where the Gaels notched a trio of 1-0 vic­to­ries en route to cap­tur­ing the ti­tle.

The other fi­nal­ist – and even­tual sil­ver medal­list – took a de­cid­edly dif­fer­ent path to the last match of the day, as St. Joseph’s of Ren­frew outscored roundrobin op­po­nents 8 to 2.

Prior to the cham­pi­onship game, the coach of the Jaguars stressed that the strength of this team was of­fence, but this was kept in check for much of the match.

Gaels goal­keeper Logan Keuren­t­jes made sev­eral stel­lar stops, but also was lucky at times, es­pe­cially in the late go­ing, when the Ren­frew team threw cau­tion to the wind, push­ing for the equal­izer.

With Glen­garry back on its heels, the Jaguars fired a shot off the goal­post out of some scram­bly play, then forced Keuren­t­jes to make a kick save. That was soon fol­lowed up by a shot off the cross­bar.

De­spite the late pres­sure, the Gaels held, se­cur­ing the EOSSAA cham­pi­onship, and the cel­e­bra­tion was on.

Glen­garry scored the only goal of the match just a minute into sec­ond half of play, as Ethan At­tridge fed the ball to Sea­mus Hardy 28 yards out, and he made no mis­take, boot­ing a quick shot over the head of the Jaguars keeper.

Ear­lier in the day, Glen­garry edged the Notre Dame CHS Celtic War­riors, on a goal from Crew Rick­erd, as­sisted by Nick Hein­zle.

The sec­ond round-robin con­test saw the Gaels get past the ESC Em­brun Cy­clones on a penalty kick from Hardy.

GDHS was also the SD&G cham­pion, en­ter­ing this tour­na­ment as the top seed.

Char-Lan DHS, the host, failed to score in games against Rideau DHS (2-0) and St. Joseph’s (3-0).

Senior boys di­vi­sion

The SD&G cham­pion Glen­garry DHS Gaels senior boys soccer team reached the EOSSAA fi­nal, only to run up against a wall that was the Macken­zie Com­mu­nity School Mus­tangs, from Deep River.

The ’Stangs, de­fend­ing ti­tlists, got an early lead off a Glen­garry own goal, adding a fluky one late in the open­ing half to go up 2-0.

The Gaels had one dan­ger­ous chance be­fore the in­ter­val, mo­ments be­fore Macken­zie bagged its sec­ond, as a tip went just wide of the post.

Frus­tra­tion was clearly ev­i­dent at the Gaels bench dur­ing the break, and when play re­sumed, the boys hit the pitch with re­newed vigour.

The GD boys stepped up their at­tack, only to hit the cross­bar, and then fired a shot over the net en­tirely.

Mean­while, the Mus­tangs col­lapsed back to de­fend, pro­vid­ing a nearly im­pen­e­tra­ble bar­rier.

With 10 min­utes re­main­ing, a Gael was hauled down in the Macken­zie goal box. The ref­eree pointed to the spot, and Cameron MacDon­ald buried the en­su­ing penalty kick, to get Glen­garry on the score­sheet.

In the wan­ing mo­ments, Gaels goalie David MacMaster moved up­field to sup­port the of­fence. When the ball came to him at the top of the box, he fired a quick strike on net, only to have the ’Stangs keeper stop the ball on the goal line.

As play con­tin­ued, Macken­zie sealed the vic­tory with a goal into the unat­tended net, send­ing the Gaels home empty handed.

In re­flect­ing on the match, Gaels co­coach David Fil­ion ex­plained, “It takes time to break down an op­po­nent,” point­ing to his team’s ten­ta­tive first-half play.

He added that it was un­for­tu­nate that the boys were un­able to cap­i­tal­ize on op­por­tu­ni­ties, though they did ad­just their play for the sec­ond half.

For his part, Glen Camp­bell, an­other of the five-year coach­ing tri­umvi­rate, “It was a tough way to end such a great sea­son.” The team’s third coach is Lau­rent Ri­vard. The Gaels swept SD&G league play, al­low­ing just one goal along the way.

Of the May 29 EOSSAA tourney, Camp­bell adds, “The boys played well all day and just couldn’t cap­i­tal­ize on our chances.”

Round-robin ac­tion saw the Gaels top their pool based on the first tie-breaker of goal dif­fer­en­tial.

The boys tied their open­ing match 1-1 with St. Michael CHS ( Kemptville), re­bound­ing from an early deficit. Lochlan MacDon­ald had the Glen­garry goal.

Game two ver­sus St. John CHS (Perth) went into the books as a 2-0 vic­tory, on a pair of tal­lies from Bai­ley Pid­geon.

MacMaster, one of the grad­u­ates on the team, ad­mits that he was hop­ing this sea­son would last a lit­tle longer, and the Gaels would ad­vance to OFSAA.

Of his team­mates, he says, “I love ev­ery sin­gle guy on the pitch and wouldn’t trade a sin­gle one of them for any­one else. Had a good run, but all good things come to an end, I guess.”

An­other re­turn­ing senior, Matthew Houlzet, ex­claims, “To­tally heart­break­ing, con­sid­er­ing this was the best team I've ever been a part of. As a whole, we all were aware that we had a shot to make it to the provin­cial cham­pi­onships, this year, and set the bar high for our­selves.

“I re­ally liked our en­tire build-up to make this great squad, start­ing months ago. Pre-sea­son and through­out the reg­u­lar sea­son, I en­joyed our men­tal­ity of do­ing our best to fo­cus on our process and not the out­comes, de­spite win­ning all games rel­a­tively eas­ily and only con­ced­ing one goal.

“That set us up for a good chance at EOSSAA, need­ing to beat out two re­ally strong teams in our pool, and then ul­ti­mately giv­ing it our all in the fi­nal.”

The stu­dent-ath­lete, who will be mov­ing on to col­lege in Peter­bor­ough this fall, adds, “On a per­sonal level, it was hard to take off my num­ber 10 Gaels jersey for the last time. Ob­vi­ously, it's only high school soccer, and it in­evitably ends, but it still feel it was pre-ma­ture. I'd love to see how the Gaels would match up against other top teams in the prov­ince, be­cause I have 100 per cent faith that we have the best coach­ing staff.”

Houlzet be­lieves the senior Gaels squad will look good next year too, con­sid­er­ing that many of the EOSSAA-cham­pion ju­nior play­ers will be se­niors, join­ing sev­eral veter­ans back for a vic­tory lap.

The other grad­u­at­ing senior play­ers are Bren­nan Nadeau and Cameron MacDon­ald.

Coach Camp­bell de­scribes the quar­tet as “great lead­ers and com­peti­tors.”

Le Re­lais girls go ‘AA’

De­spite its small size, le Re­lais’ girls soccer team qual­i­fied to com­pete at ‘AA’ EOSSAA, in Kingston, on May 30, reach­ing the tour­na­ment’s fi­nal, be­fore bowing out to Fron­tenac SS, 3-0.

Coach Do­minic De­coeur stresses that the girls “left ev­ery­thing on the field,” but in­juries from ear­lier in the day, along with some bad luck, proved to be chal­lenges that les Rapi­des could not over­come.

How­ever, he adds, “Los­ing in the ‘AA’ fi­nal is an ac­com­plish­ment for a school of 180 stu­dents.”

Round-robin play kicked off with a 2-0 win over Car­leton Place, as Sara Car­rière and Danika De­coeur scored.

Game two was a 2-1 vic­tory against Arn­prior. Goal scor­ers were Car­rière and Myr­iam Boisv­enue.

Chloe Le­gault, one of the veter­ans of le Re­lais’ soccer pro­gram and a mul­ti­sport ath­lete, says, sports “have taught me many things, such as be­ing a pos­i­tive leader, stay­ing fo­cused, ac­count­abil­ity, and team work. I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to not only grow as an ath­lete, but as a stu­dent and per­son as well.

Con­clud­ing her four years at the school, Le­gault notes that soccer was her sport of choice, say­ing, “My team and I

REBEL ROSE

ac­com­plished so many ob­jec­tives, and I couldn’t be prouder. Even though we didn’t come out with the re­sult we wanted this year at EOSSAA, we had fun, and many of the girls got the chance to live a great ex­pe­ri­ence. “

An­gelina Gen­dreau, who’ll be at­tend­ing Chicago’s DePaul Uni­ver­sity on a soccer schol­ar­ship, says her four years of the beau­ti­ful game at le Re­lais have yielded nu­mer­ous friend­ships, while, un­der the tute­lage of coaches Do­minic De­coeur and Nancy Char­bon­neau, les Rapi­des claimed three straight EOSSAA ti­tles and an OFSAA gold (in 2017).

“As it comes to an end, I can say that these me­mories will stay with me for­ever and through­out the rest of my soccer ca­reer.”

Danika De­coeur re­calls many vic­to­ries over her four years with the team, adding that the sport has also taught her life lessons.

In ad­di­tion to soccer, De­coeur en­joyed play­ing hockey and vol­ley­ball for les Rapi­des, with sports be­ing a big part of her time at the school.

She says should wouldn’t want to change any­thing about these sports me­mories and ex­pe­ri­ences and what she’s learned along the way.

Gaels girls

In SD&G play­offs on May 23, all four soccer teams from Glen­garry DHS reached their re­spec­tive cham­pi­onship fi­nals.

While the boys teams pre­vailed to ad­vance to EOSSAA, the Gaels girls dropped tough de­ci­sions, in Corn­wall, as we re­ported in last week’s edi­tion of

The senior girls fell to the top ranked squad from la Ci­tadelle, 2-0.

Head coach Kath­leen Tonkin ad­mits that it was a hard-fought con­test.

“We played a strongly de­fen­sive con­test for the first half,” un­til Les Pa­tri­otes scored on a long ball just be­fore the break. In the sec­ond half, the Gaels adopted a more of­fen­sive pos­ture, with Tonkin not­ing that the Gaels had op­por­tu­ni­ties but couldn’t score. La Ci­tadelle salted it away late. “The GD team showed heart and team­work through­out the sea­son,” coach Tonkin stresses.

In par­tic­u­lar, she high­lights the play and lead­er­ship of Sara Hay, Sarah MacGil­livray, Brooke Lapierre, and Candyce Gal­lant.

On the group as a whole, Tonkin adds, “I feel the strength of the team was the sup­port [the play­ers] showed each other and their will­ing­ness to work to­gether.”

Ju­nior coach Kelsey MacDon­ald, on her group’s day at the SD&G play­off tour­na­ment, says, “To be the best, you have to beat the best,” point­ing to a pair of losses that week to l’Her­itage, in­clud­ing in the cham­pi­onship match.

“As close as the game was, [les Dragons] found a way to win,” with l’Her­itage pre­vail­ing 1-0 over the Gaels.

SEAN BRAY PHOTO

RE­GIONAL CHAMPS: Mem­bers of the 2018 EOSSAA-win­ning ju­nior boys soccer team from Glen­garry DHS in­clude, stand­ing in back from left, Sea­mus Hardy, Nicholas Hein­zle, Rocco Bhag­wandin, Crew Rick­erd, Ben Hor­ton, Caleb Ray­mond, An­drew MacMaster, Ad­di­son...

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