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Strong Tournament will Lead Teams into Zones

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It was a moment both teams had been waiting for putting their season success to the ultimate test when the boys’ and girls’ SVRSS Tigers Soccer teams walked out on to the Minnedosa pitch on Saturday (Sept. 28). While both left with victories and defeats, all players left with their heads held high for the great effort they left out there.
Girls
Finishing off the tournament, the girls found themselves against Steinbach in a tough match-up that would take everything they had.
“They moved the ball around a lot,” said Coach Jody Williams. “They modeled a lot of what we want our team to be like.”
Giving up a goal, the girls were down but not out which they proved true when a kick off the foot of Sierra Makasoff counted for the equalizer.
With the game tied 1-1, the game was forced into extra time with a penalty kick scenario to decide a winner.
“One of the things we wanted to do (this season) was give the players an opportunity to practice penalty kicks when the game is on the line,” said Williams. “We’ve been practicing them for three weeks.”
Knowing who their solid penalty kickers were, the Tigers sent out their players and both teams returned from the first round with each team scoring the first four kicks.
“The two teams were just as close in penalty kicks as they were in regulation,” said Williams.
Unfortunately, in the fifth round, the Steinbach goaltender would make a great save and the Tigers’ goalie would be unable to stop the returning shot, resulting in a loss for the Tigers.
Previously, the girls would find themselves opening up the tournament across the pitch from the host team – Minnedosa.
“They’re a perennial top four team in the province,” said Williams.
Getting down a goal in the first half, it would appear that Minnedosa was just too much for the Tigers to handle. But, only for a short while.
“Minnedosa definitely has some better soccer skill than us but we played hard and smart and got a game back with ten minutes left.”
The equalizing goal came once again from Makasoff before Minnedosa would once again take the lead.
“It was a little bit of a back breaker,” said Williams. “I thought for sure we were going to go penalty kicks because we played so well.”
Never giving up in any game, the girls struck back with everything that had and Makasoff was once again able to capitalize, scoring with only three minutes left in the game.
In less than a minute, Minnedosa would ruin the Tiger parade and take the lead for the final time.
“Unfortunately, we ran out of time,” said Williams. “I sensed our team believed they were in it from start to finish. They played so well against a touch team and they actually almost won it.”
Williams noted that the spectacular play from his team has him confident they’re where they need to be to be competitive and make it to provincials this season. Especially if they continue to get outstanding games out of Grade 12 player Makasoff.
“Sierra’s been our leading goal scorer for the last three years,” said Williams. “I remember her first game in Grade 9 she scored her first goal and now she’s wrapping up her high school career with a bang. We rely heavily on getting the ball to her.
“She has a lot of teammates that help her out but at the end of the day when Sierra is playing really well we have a chance to win those games. It was a great weekend for her. The goals that she scored were such a high quality that regardless of who we were playing they were going in the back of the net and that’s exciting.”
Putting the losses behind them and focusing on the good that came out of such a tough weekend, the girls look to have their first break in three weeks and complete a few light and easy training practices to rest injuries because they host zones on Oct. 9.
Boys
The toughest game of the season would be the final game for the Tigers as the boys faced off against the AAAA rated, reigning provincial champions from Steinbach.
“After seeing Steinbach put six past Dauphin and a similar score against Minnedosa, the Tigers took the game to them and it turned out to be a great match up,” said Coach Paul Terry.
Showing respect, but no fear, the Tigers battled hard in the first minutes of the game, although it was Steinbach that would strike first.
The Tigers were unable to find the back of the net for the remainder of the first half and the score would remain 1-0 for Steinbach.
“Steinbach knew they were in for a game and were being pushed hard for the first time in this tournament,” said Terry.
The Tigers were finally able to get their deserved equalizer midway through the second half when Morgan Terry would set up his brother Austin Terry for a calm and strong kick.
“The opponents were rattled and reverted to their strongarm tactics with gamesmanship and pressuring of the referee in an ugly, bad tempered end to the match,” said Terry referring to the three yellow cards distributed to Steinbach players in the last 15 minutes of the game.
In a moments glance, Steinbach was able to force another goal though to take the lead in the game.
“It was harsh on the Tigers who had produced their best performance of the season,” said Terry.
Throwing everything they had at the net in order to try and tie the game once again, a hole was left in the Tigers defence and Steinbach was able to capitalize closing the game with a final score of 3-1.
“Despite the defeat the Tigers left the field with their pride intact and heads high, showing the class which was somewhat lacking from their opponents,” said Terry.
Previously, the Tigers would face off against a familiar opponent – Dauphin.
“It turned out to be a slow and somewhat scrappy game,” said Terry.
Morgan Terry, once again being a thorn in Dauphin’s side this season, would score another hat-trick against them while Damon Steinwandt and Wyatt Rose would count one of their own in what would turn out to be a 5-1 victory for the Tigers.
In the opening game of the tournament, the boys would find themselves against the host team – Minnedosa.
“The opening half was a close encounter with both teams having few chances in a cat and mouse game,” said Terry.
With each side feeling out their opponents and deciding the game they would want to play the first half remained scoreless.
In the second, a freak accident would take out a major key player on the Tigers roster when Hunter Verhoek was chasing down an opponent before tangling up with him and awkwardly hitting his head on the ground – ending his day.
“We was down for several minutes and ended up being taken to hospital, suffering from a concussion,” said Terry.
While worried about their teammate, the Tigers would cough up a goal. However, the host’s lead would only last a minute.
With their teammate on their mind, good work from Austin Terry would find him space to make a pass to Steinwandt who would get the ball to Jordan Gray for the left-footed kick.
The game would be forced into a penalty kick round that would see all three players score on both teams.
Minnedosa missed their fourth kick and Gray was able to capitalize, forcing their opponents to a score or be defeated scenario.
The kick would sail over the cross bar and the Tigers would claim the opening win of the tournament.
The boys will now join the girls for a much needed rest before zones Oct. 9 with the hope that time will heal all injuries and their roster will be as strong as ever.

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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