Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Oct. 20


 

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney

 

 

 

 

'(Posted 7:30 a.m., June 6)
Louis Riel advances to OFSAA semi-final with dramatic win over Colonel By
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Louis Riel Rebelles have advanced to the semi-finals of the OFSAA 'AAA' soccer championships at the Hornet's Nest in Blackburn Hamlet after dispatching the Colonel By Cougars in Friday's quarterfinals.

The Rebelles had revenge on their minds as they drew their arch rivals in the first round of the playoffs. The Cougars ruined the Rebelles' bid for a perfect season just a week ago when they upset them 2-1 in the city championship.

The Rebelles were 8-0 heading into the final game having won all six of their regular season games and both playoff games. A misplayed ball by goalie Kelsie English on a shot from just inside midfield would prove to be the difference in the championship game which was played in a steady downpour.

With a week off before the start of the OFSAA tournament, the Rebelles could have dwelt on what could have bee,n but instead they focused their attention on winning a possible provincial championship.

They opened the tournament with a pair of wins over St. Ignatius Secondary School and Havergal College on Thursday. They then downed Catholic Central 1-0 in Friday's early game to assure themselves of a berth in the quarterfinals.

With a playoff spot already locked up they lost 1-0 to Southwood Secondary School from Cambridge in their final round robin game, which is they got to play Colonel By.

The Cougars managed to squeak into the playoffs on goal differential. Following the round robin portion of the tournament they were tied with Regiopolis-Notre Dame and Iona with identical 2-0-2 records. Fortunately, they only gave up two goals which was two fewer than Regiopolis and three fewer than Iona.

With both teams having already played two games on Friday, the Rebelles and Cougars took to the field at 5:15 p.m. in front of dozens of partisan fans to see who would be advancing to the semis.

The Rebelles dominated the play in the first half and if not for the heroics of Colonel By's Grade 10 keeper Rachelle Beanlands they could have easily been up by one or two goals at the half. Instead, it was the Cougars who enjoyed a lead at the break thanks to a successful penalty shot by Joanna Blodgett.

Haisha Cantave was easily the Rebelles' most dominant player as she was moved to striker from her usual position on the wing. The Grade 10 student managed to direct a half dozen shots toward Beanlands, but try as she might she couldn't beat her provincial U16 teammate.

The Cougars managed to hold onto the lead until the final 90 seconds when the Rebelles were awarded a penalty kick to the left of the Cougars' net. As the set play unfolded, Chelsea Lanos managed to get her foot on the ball and redirected it past Beanlands to send the match into extra time.

When neither team could settle things in the two 10-minute extra sessions the game went into penalty kicks. It took seven rounds before English managed to block a shot from Ariel Pelletier to give her team the win and erase the memories of a week ago.

Although the game came down to penalty kicks, it was the game within a game between Beanlands and Cantave who had to leave the pitch twice because of injuries that made the contest so interesting. Besides being teammates on the provincial U16 team, the two friends are also provincial level track athletes.

Cantave won a gold and a silver in the junior girls 100 and 200 metres at last week's OFSAA East Regional qualifying meet in Brockville, while Beanlands set a meet record in the Open girls 1500-metre steeplechase. Both girls decided to help their teams win a medal at the OFSAA soccer tournament rather than compete at the OFSAA track and field championships which are going on at the same time in Toronto.

“I’m happy I made the decision to come play with this team,” Cantave said. “I miss track, but I’ve got two more games here.”

The Rebelles award for beating the Cougars is an 8 a.m. wake up call and a 9 a.m. game against Chatham-Kent Secondary School who beat Lockerby Composite from Sudbury 1-0.

Their one saving grace is that they be able to sleep in their own beds and have a home-cooked breakfast before the game.

If they emerge victorious they'll face the winner of the other semi-final game between R.S. McLaughlin from Oshawa and Nelson High School from Burlington in the gold medal game at 1:30 p.m. Should they lose they'll play in the bronze medal game at 1 p.m.

'(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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