Canadians close off with a win
by Randy Pascal
The "Sudbury Soccer Snapshot" is a weekly feature that is being presented courtesy of Martin Martic Dentistry. Each and every week, from May
1st through until the end of September, a weekly newsletter will be produced, covering off much of what is on the go in the world of competitive soccer
As well, a recreational soccer "game of the week" will be highlighted, rotating between the various houseleagues that exist in and around Greater Sudbury.
In the off-season, the newsletter will scale back to a bi-weekly feature, focusing heavily on the hundreds of young soccer players who shift to the indoor
game as the fields become snow-covered for the winter.
Enduring a challenging season after earning their third straight promotion within the OWSL (Ontario Women's Soccer League), the Sudbury
Canadians closed out the summer of 2014 on a winning note, edging the Woodbridge Strikers 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Queen's Athletic Field.
Serena San Cartier and Rachel Leck scored two goals apiece for the local crew, while Gigi Gothard-Disanto, Laera Grattoni and
Jayde Wiklund-Roach replied in a losing cause.
Though beaten for three goals, St Charles College graduate Amelia Temelini came up with a few big saves, including a huge stop in the second half
as she filled in admirably for starting keeper Ashley Bechard.
With the opening of university soccer training camps over the weekend, both teams were scrounging for numbers, with Woodbridge fielding a team of only
ten players, while the homeside dropped to that same number midway through the second half due to a work commitment.
Preparing to enter her fifth year at Oakland University in Michigan, with one year of NCAA eligibility remaining in track & field only, San Cartier
easily topped the scoring race in both provincial divisions, netting a dozen goals in fifteen games.
Still, she recognized very early this year the fact that the Canadians had now reached the elite of OWSL competition. "This year, obviously, was a big
jump for our team," she said. "You see the quality of the girls was just a lot better than what we were used to."
"But that preps you better for those that are going back to school," she added. With a final record of 6-9, the Canadians struggled to hit the .500
mark with mainstays Cloe Lacasse and Karolyne Blain only appearing in a couple of games each.
"We started off pretty good this season, but the last couple of games were pretty shaky for us," said San Cartier. "We learned a lot, there were a lot of
adjustments." While San Cartier will not springboard from her summer season to a post-secondary schedule this fall, 17 year old Rachel Leck is still
contemplating her university options.
A student at Lockerby Composite for grades nine and ten, Leck now lives in Pickering, but opted to stick with the team that she has grown up with
when it came to gaining more soccer experience this summer.
"We've always travelled, my dad and I, when I was trying out for the provincial teams," Leck explained. "And our team had just got up to a new division,
and we've worked so hard for that, so I thought I would give it one more year. And I have a lot of friends on the team."
Entering grade 12 in just a few weeks time, Leck is leaning towards remaining in Canada to continue both her athletics and academics in 2015, looking
into a handful of Ontario institutions, as well as some options out on the east coast.
As for a return to Sudbury next summer, she is not ready to make that commitment just yet. "My parents and I are going to sit down after the season and
have a discussion about that," said Leck.
"We'll see what's best for us, what's best for me, and see how it goes." With six goals this year, Leck finished second only to San Cartier in team
Yes, one can say that the GSSC (Sudbury) Impact U13 Girls have adjusted nicely to play within the CGSL (Central Girls Soccer League) Level 4
Premier division. The team was dealt back to back losses on opening weekend, in May, against opponents who now occupy the two top rungs in league standings.
Since dropping a 2-1 encounter to the Etobicoke Energy back on July 6th, coach Marilyn Bodson and company have posted an impressive record
of 8-0-2, including compiling a winning streak that reached eight games at home this past weekend.
While a Saturday forfeited victory over Islington might not have provided much sense of pride, the same could not be said for a 4-0 whitewash of the
visitors from Etobicoke on Sunday, putting a little more distance between the third place Impact, and the Energy crew just one spot back.
Once again, the speed and balanced attack of the GSSC girls was on full display, as the team received goals from Crystale Trottier, Madison Laberge, Ariane
Saumure and McKenna Cresswell in providing ample support for keeper Korey Bodson.
The pre-season uncertainties the young ladies may have endured have now been replaced by a level of confidence that comes part and parcel of knowing you
are the better team the moment you step on the field.
"The first couple of weekends, we didn't know the competition very well," acknowledged center striker Aliesha Spourdalakis. "Now that we play every
team twice, we get to know what they're good at, so we can work around that."
"We know what to expect, so we get a little less nervous." Taking full advantage of their quickness, the U13 Impact will frequently play three attackers
across the top, pursuing an aggressive approach that is helped along by the depth of scoring talent up front.
"You never know whose going to be at the net to score the goal," said Spourdalakis, one of several players on this team who have struck paydirt with
regularity. "We're all very equal. Whoever gets to the net can finish well."
The Impact will close out regular season play next weekend on the road, facing King City and North Toronto, with third place pretty much secured, and
second place not out of the question. The northern crew will also have a chance to close out 2014 in style, having qualified for the CGSL U13 LP Cup
semi-finals on September 20th.
A 5-3 win over Oshawa Turul last weekend has effectively knocked the #1 team in league standings out of the competition, with Sudbury set to face North
Toronto (3-9-1) while looking for a berth in the championship affair.
Though the GSSC Impact U16 Girls might well have been playing some of their best soccer of the summer of late, they almost certainly would like a
"do over" after Sunday's matchup with Whitby on the turf at the James Jerome Sports Complex.
Coming off a rewarding 2-1 win over the Scarborough Blizzard (6-4-0) on Saturday, the Impact closed out the first half the next afternoon, locked
in a scoreless draw with Whitby.
The contest remained goalless, in part, due to an outstanding save by visiting goaltender Madison Putnam, lurching to the top corner to deflect a
well-aimed direct kick from Karly Hellstrom from 30+ yards out in the 12th minute of play.
Whitby would open the scoring in the 64th minute as Jordan Rye found herself all alone, directly on top of Sudbury keeper Josee Scott, with
the aggressive attacker slipping the ball home with ease.
Sudbury countered just under ten minutes later as Alexis Belanger jumped all over a loose ball from a scramble in tight, netting her second goal
in as many days.
In a contest that seldom lacked in intensity, the understaffed visitors were feeling the heat. A pair of injuries had Whitby playing the final ten
minutes with only nine players on the pitch.
But rather than provide additional motivation for the locals, the situation appeared to spur on the 7th place squad, rewarded with just minutes to play
when Rylie Watson took advantage of some tentative play by the Impact, scoring the game-winning goal.
Just 24 hours earlier, Morgan Melnek laced a beauty on a direct kick to provide the margin of victory over Scarborough as Sudbury improved to
3-4-4, picking up at least a point for the sixth straight game.
The U16 ladies still have five regular season games remaining, beginning with a two-game road set against Toronto and Barrie next weekend, as well as
heading south for their Cup semi-final on the same September weekend as the U13 girls.
With precious little room to manoeuvre in order to avoid relegation, the Impact U16 boys are fighting tooth and nail to remain in the CSL (Central
Soccer League) Level 4 Premier division.
The team picked up a key 1-0 win, on the road, over last place Toronto, bumping their season mark up in the process to 3-5-1, holding on to the fifth and
final placement that will remain intact for 2015.
Last weekend, coach Nick Mancini and company received a two-goal effort from North Bay native Bryce Davidson, doubling CTSA VAAHAI
(2-5-2) 4-2. Rounding out the scoring for the Impact were Harris Butt and Isaac Oliveira.
"We played a very good game, possibly our best control/possession match," said Mancini. "It was a huge game for us, especially if it comes to a
tie-breaker situation with them (CTSA)." The stretch of critical encounters continues at home this coming weekend, with Toronto and the Darlington
Wanderers (4-2-2) both making a visit north.
Facing the only undefeated team in league standings in the HDSL (Huronia District Soccer League) U15/16 Cup final, the GSSC (Sudbury) Impact U16 Girls
came through with flying colours, blanking Orillia 3-0.
Deanna Krueger handled all of the scoring for the locals, though head coach Vince Muscolino noted, quite accurately, that the match represented a
"great effort by the entire team". Megan Smith posted the clean slate in net for Sudbury.
At Home: Impact U16-B vs Toronto - Sat., Aug. 23rd - 2:00 p.m. at James Jerome (grass); vs Darlington - Sun., Aug. 24th - 2:00 p.m. at James Jerome (grass)
At Home: Impact U13-G vs Islington - Sat., Aug. 16th - 1:00 p.m. at James Jerome (turf); vs Etobicoke - Sun., Aug. 17th - 1:00 p.m. at James Jerome (turf)
At Home: Impact U14-G vs North Bay - Wed., Aug. 20th - 7:30 p.m. at Queen's Athletic Field
On the Road: Impact U13-G @ King City (August 23rd); @ North Toronto (Aug 24th)
On the Road: Impact U13-B @ Ajax FC (August 23rd); @ Rexdale (August 24th)
On the Road: Impact U15-B @ York Jets (August 23rd); @ Barrie (August 24th)
On the Road: Impact U16-G @ Toronto (August 23rd); @ Barrie (August 24th)
On the Road: Impact U15/16G - Huronia three game set - August 23rd/24th in Orillia
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