2014 AA OFSAA in Collingwood
The Sr. Girls Football Team, ranked #2 in the province, participated at OFSAA last Thursday to Saturday in Collingwood. The Nobles started their first day of the tournament strong by winning their first two games against Fort Francis 6-0 and Southwood 4-2. Day two started bright and early. We had an 8:00 am game against Denis O'Connor from Ajax. The Nobles came out strong finishing two opportunities in the first half. However, maybe the celebrations came too soon because suddenly the Nobles found themselves down 3-2 when the final whistle blew. This loss put a serious kink in our plan to finish top seed in our pool and the next game was a must win. Having little over an hour to put a disappointing loss behind us, the Nobles came out strong against Holy Trinity and won the match 3-0 to finish second in our pool. The good news: we have advanced to the Quarter Finals that afternoon...the not so good news: we were playing the top ranked seed, St Martin from Mississauga in our third match of the day.
As with every other game, the Nobles came out strong and quickly capitalized on their opportunity. Bella Habuda netted yet another goal in the tournament. Before the halftime whistle blew, St. Martin was awarded a free kick outside the 18. An unfortunate deflection off our own team found St. Martin tied with the Nobles 1-1. Tired, sore and a little discouraged, the Nobles dug in deep and left everything on the pitch. As the play went back and forth, the Nobles defence continued to play strong and Kyrstin Lawrence pulled out saves that would have made Peter Schmeichel look like a rookie. Bella Habuda continued to put pressure on their defence and found McKenzie Winter cutting in front of the net to give the Nobles a 2-1 victory as the final whistle blew. Having just knocked off the top seed, the Nobles were preparing for their Semi Final match against Cairine Wilson from Ottawa the next morning.
At this stage of the tournament, you cannot take any team lightly and the Nobles took that to heart. They came out strong and capitalized on the weaknesses of the other team and finished 4 brilliant goals in their 4-0 victory leading into the Gold Medal match against Bishop MacDonell. We went up early in the match with a goal by Bella Habuda. Midway through the second half, we had a mental lapse in the defence and they scored a tying goal. Within the next five minutes a highly-controversial penalty shot was awarded to Bishop Macdonell and they scored. By this time the team began pushing forward looking for a tying goal, which left our defence a bit more vulnerable and resulted in their third goal. The grueling schedule of seven games in three days began to show itself in the finals and unfortunately even the best of teams have off games. It wasn't our greatest performance and unfortunately we did not walk away with a gold medal. At the end of the day, we are very proud of our girls for accomplishing what they did and earning a Silver medal, a first for Belle River Soccer. They certainly put Belle River High School soccer on the map and positively represented SWOSSAA as student-athletes. Congratulations and good luck to the graduating players...your time and leadership was much appreciated...you will be missed.