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Team falls in Provincial consolation final

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Swan Valley was well represented at the MHSAA Provincial Rural Soccer Championship last weekend (Oct. 13 and 14), hosted by Niverville and played on the soccer pitches in Niverville and nearby Providence University College.
The SVRSS Tigers Soccer team put in a good fight, with an overall record of two wins and two losses against the best teams in the province. Their efforts brought them all the way to the consolation final, where they lost 7-2 against the MacGregor Mustangs.
“MacGregor started very fast, led by one super player, and jumped to an early 3-nil lead,” said Head Coach Owen Parsons. “Swan Valley regrouped a bit, but the Mustangs added one more before Morgan Terry scored for the Tigers. This was as close as the Tigers could come, and MacGregor added three more before Terry got his second of the game.”
The Tigers earned their spot in the consolation final by defeating the Northlands Parkway Nighthawks from Winkler.
“In an extremely close match, the Tigers scored in the first half on a gola from Myron Thiessen,” said Parsons. “This held up until late in the game when Tigers defender Eric Gosselin stopped a shot with his face to keep the lead. Cody LeClaire earned another shutout with the 1-0 result.”
The other win for the Tigers was a decisive battle against the host – the Niverville Panthers. Four goals were scored by Terry and one scored by Sean Kirkpatrick in the 5-1 victory.
Swan Valley was knocked over to the consolation side following their first game of the day, when they were defeated by the Stonewall Rams 3-0.
Going into the playoffs, the Tigers were ranked eight out of 10, and ended up in a sixth place finish.
“We did well at this level with two wins and two losses,” said Parsons. “The last time a Swan Valley team did this was in 2009 when we also lost the consolation final.
“My ultimate goal at the start of the season was not only to get to Provincials again, but also to win at least two games while there, which we accomplished.”
“Next season may be a bit of a challenge as eight of our 17 players are in Grade 12,” Parsons continued. “That does, however, leave nine players to build around as we find new players.”
Graduating players include:
• Fourth year players – Cody LeClaire, Nolan Bushenlonga, John Taylor, and Brandon Staples;
• Third year players –Colton Pierrepont, and Eric Gosselin;
• First year players – Myron Thiessen, and Kalem Bouchard.

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Jeremy Bergen
REPORTER
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