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'(Posted 8:30 a.m., Aug. 12)
Young Hornets pack big sting at Gloucester International Soccer Tournament
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Hannah Carr from the Gloucester Hornets Yellow Jackets tries to clear the ball away from Dominique Borden form the Gloucester Hornets U12 Level 5 team in the U12 Tier 2 semi-finals at the Gloucester International Soccer Tournament on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Gloucester Hornets showed why they continue to be one of the premier soccer club's in Eastern Ontario on the weekend by making eight finals and winning four titles in the Gloucester International Soccer Tournament.

The U11 Level 5 team capped off a stellar tournament with a 3-0 win over Ottawa United in the U11 Tier 1 final. The lone blemish on their record was a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Royals in the round robin portion of the tournament in a game in which coach Michel Simard said his team never showed up.

"You get that sometimes," said Simard. "After the game I told them that whoever wanted to play could play in the next game and that if they don't want to play they should stay at home."

The wake up call apparently worked because the team bounced back and reeled off three straight shutouts on their way to the title including a 2-0 blanking of the Royals in the semi-finals.

"I told them that if they wanted to win the championship they had to play together as a team," said Simard. "They asked me to pick an MVP for the tournament and I couldn't because everyone really stepped up on Sunday."

Although Simard was reticent to single out an individual player, a number of girls had an outstanding tournament starting with Amanda Scobie in net.

But you don't register four shutouts in five games without getting a lot of help from your backline, which in the Hornets' case is anchored by sweeper Jade "The Wall" Coté. Up front, the girls got plenty of scoring from strikers Rachel McCallan and Melissa Simard who scored all three goals in the final.

Moving up an age group, the Hornets U12 Level 5 team was involved in the most exciting game of the weekend when they took on Sherbrooke in the U12 Tier 2 final.

Sherbrooke had a 1-0 lead late in the game when Lauren Tremble scored to send the contest into extra time. After neither team was able to break the deadlock during the two five minute overtime sessions, the game went to extra kicks which is when things got interesting. It took 10 rounds before the Hornets' last shooter Brittany Love scored to put her team ahead. It was then up to Hornets' keeper Libby Peters to stop Sherbrooke's last shooter.

As the ball was struck, Peters instinctively dove to her right and stopped the ball before it crossed the goal line to give the Hornets the dramatic win.

"I've been involved in soccer for going on 25 years and I've never seen anything like that either as a player or a coach," said Hornets' head man John Valenzuela referring to the number of extra kicks that were necessary before a winner was declared.

"It was a combination of some good goaltending, a few missed shots on their part and some hit posts."

The team has only lost one game in league play and they're just three points out of first place with three games left in the regular season and they're still in contention for the ERSL Shield. They play Kemptville in the semi-finals on Aug 23.

Moving to the older divisions, the Hornets U21 women's team put an exclamation point on the end of their season with a 1-0 win over St. Anthony in the senior women's final. Leanne Ashfield scored the lone goal for the Hornets who are made up of mostly university players.

While the team played a solid game in the final, they were nothing short of sensational in their semi-final in which they beat the Dixie Lady Cougars 4-0 in what Hornets' coach Tony Ashfield calls their best game of the year.

"From our perspective they were definitely the team to beat and the girls came out and played their best game all season long. They really came together. It was a near flawless game in every aspect," says Ashfield.

Leanne Ashfield scored three goals against the Lady Cougars who are from Mississauga, while Joanna Blodgett added a goal as well and was named the tournament MVP.

While the team skipped this year's Ontario Cup competition they had their fair share ot success in tournament play adding the women's open title in Sudbury to their list of accomplishments.

With the season now over, the players will start heading off to their respective university teams. Anic MacKay and Emilie Lamarche both play in Ohio, Elizabeth Maffett goes to McMaster, Corinne Kandravy goes to Laurentian and Blodgett is entering her first year at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

The fourth Hornets team to win a title on the weekend was the U17 Level 3 squad which downed the Lakeshore Landscapers 2-0 in the U18 Tier 1 final. In other action, the U16 Level 3 team lost 3-0 to the Burlington Fusion in the U17 Tier 1 final; the U14 Level 3 team lost 4-2 to the Burlington Fusion in the U15 Tier 1 final; and the U12 Level 4 team lost 6-0 to to a very strong Oakville squad in the U13 Tier 2 championship.

Members of the Gloucester Hornets U21 women's team pose with the championship trophy after downing St. Anthony to win the Gloucester International Soccer Tournament on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

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

 

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