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Senior Girls Soccer
Colonel By Cougars capture senior girls soccer championship
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Colonel By Cougars senior girls soccer team are the reigning National Capital secondary school champions after downing the Louis Riel Rebelles 2-1 in a rain-soaked contest on Wednesday.

The Cougars got a pair of goals from sisters Alex and Rachel Dragan to avenge their only loss of the regular season and erase memories of a heartbreaking extra time loss to the Rebelles in last year's final.

The game began in a slight drizzle and ended in a steady downpour. The less than ideal conditions didn't seem to bother the Cougars any as they pressed the action from the opening whistle. Rebelles' keeper Kelsey English was forced to handle the ball at least a half dozen times in the first 10 minutes as Colonel By was able to direct a salvo of shots towards the Louis Riel goal.

The Cougars' best chance came midway through the first half when they fired a shot from about 30 metres out that slammed off the crossbar. They had another glorious scoring opportunity about five minutes later, but were unable to convert the juicy rebound after English made the initial save.

The Cougars finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth minute of the second half on a ball that was kicked from midfield by Alex Dragan. As English reached up to make the save, the ball spun off the tips of her fingers and into the top of the goal.

Trailing 1-0, Louis Riel responded with an equalizer a little under two minutes later on a free kick that deflected off Haisha Cantave directly to Charlotte Nutt who hammered the ball home past Cougars keeper Rachelle Beanlands.

Three minutes then elapsed before Colonel By was awarded a corner kick which they managed to convert into a goal on Melisa Erturk's perfect cross to Rachel Dragan.

Up 2-1 at that point, the Cougars tightened up defensively and managed to hold on for the win which should give them tons of confidence as they prepare to take on the best senior girls teams in the province at the OFSAA AAA championships which this year are taking place at the Hornert's Nest.

With the provincial championships taking place in Ottawa, it will be the first time 18-year-old Rachel Dragan will be able to compete. On the two previous occasions the team qualified for OFSAA, Dragan opted to stay home to complete her International Baccalaureate exams. There is also the added bonus that she will be playing with her 16-year-old sister Alex.

"I'm hoping we'll do well, especially with it being my last year at Colonel By," said Dragan.

Asked to describe the game's opening goal which managed to handcuff Rebelles' keeper Kelsey English, Alex said that she simply pounded the ball as hard as she could.

"I was watching the ball and thought Kelsey was going to get it and then I saw it go in and I thought 'Oh my God, it's in'. I couldn't believe it," said Alex.

Cougars coach Pat Lacasse feels his team has a good a shot as any of winning a medal at the provincial championships.

"This is a good confidence build. This just gives us another step up the line for next weekend. We've got the home field and we get to sleep in our own beds. That means a lot," said Lacasse.

The OFSAA championships get under way next Thursday with a number of games being played simultaneously.

Members of the Colonel By Cougars pose with the championship trophy after downing the Louis Riel Rebelles 2-1 in the senior girls AAA/AAAA title game on Wednesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

'(Posted 7:30 a.m., May 28)

 

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