Green Gaels and Bears capture boys’ soccer titles
ORANGEVILLE – The Guelph CVI Green Gaels and the host Orangeville Bears withstood the windy conditions and a second-half attack by their opponents to claim District 10 high school boys’ soccer titles Tuesday in games played on the Orangeville District Secondary School field.
Orangeville defeated the Centennial Spartans 3-1 in the senior game after GCVI had edged Orangeville 1-0 in the junior final.
The championship game pitted the teams that finished in the top two spots at the conclusion of the regular season against one another.
The Bears had finished first with a 6-1-0 record and the league’s top defence as they had allowed a league-low 11 goals during the regular season. The Spartans were second at 5-2-0 and they had the top offence with a league-high 27 goals.
In the final, though, Orangeville struck for three first-half goals to claim the win.
“We decided to take the wind (for the first half) and we wanted to come out, as I call it, pedal to the metal,” Orangeville coach Giovanni Silveri said. “We scored three goals in the first half and then we decided at the half to play a little more defensively (in the second half) and they got one on us.”
Scoring for the hosts were Xander Franchetti on a free kick in the 15th minute, Luke Crilly on a long shot three minutes later and Cole Murray on an even longer free kick in the 33rd minute.
Centennial’s Ethan Glascott scored in the opening minute of the second half.
Bad news for the rest of the D10 league, the Bears are a fairly young squad in senior high school soccer terms and most of the players are expected back next season.
“Most of them are Grade 11 boys and they played outstanding,” Silveri said. “With a good core of Grade 10s coming up, we should have a very good senior team again next year.”
As D10 champions, the Bears advance to the CWOSSA AAA championship tournament, but they’ll have a long time to wait for it as it’s to be held in the spring.
“Just like last year we’re going to CWOSSA again,” Silveri said. “We’ll start just after Christmas training in the gym with a futsal ball just to try to keep the guys in shape. It’s very difficult. When it’s CWOSSA, it’s hard for us to compete because our district, we play in the fall and everyone else we play against, they play in the spring. They’re primed and ready to go and we are not so you’re at an extreme disadvantage.”
At last season’s CWOSSA AAA tournament, Orangeville lost both of its games on the first day of the tournament and didn’t advance to the playoff round on the second day. The Bears got to go to that tournament as D10’s highest-placed AAA team as AA squads Lourdes Crusaders and Bishop Macdonell Celtics met in the league’s championship match.
This season’s CWOSSA AAA tournament is to be held in Kitchener May 27 to 29, 2020. The AA tournament is to be held the same days in Owen Sound. Bishop Mac, the third-place finishers, will be the D10 representatives.
The Gaels continued their surprising playoffs with the championship win.
Having won only one game in the five-team D10 league’s regular season to finish in fourth place, the Gaels won their third consecutive playoff match with the championship-game victory.
They had earlier defeated the fifth-place Lourdes Crusaders 3-1 in the lone quarter-final game and then knocked off the first-place Centennial Spartans in the semifinals.
Third-place Orangeville had surprised the second-place Ross Royals in the other semifinal.
In the final, the Gaels combated a strong wind that was at their backs in the first half and in their faces in the second half by employing a strong, defensive style.
“We told the boys before the game to make sure we’re solid in the back, to look for a counterattack and they played excellent,” GCVI coach Sebastian Conti said. “Both teams played excellent and we’re really happy with the result.”
“The boys came out really flat and it was evident throughout the whole game up until the last five minutes when we were losing and we started to press,” said Silveri who also coaches Orangeville’s junior squad. “It just wasn’t enough. GCVI played well and they deserved to win. They came and they gave it to us, which was good.”
Quinn Moffatt’s goal on a breakaway early in the second half stood up to be the only goal of the final. Nate Bardwell recorded the clean sheet in the GCVI net.
GCVI’s defensive style, though, led to the ball being in their own end for most of the time after their goal. That made for some anxious moments.
“We’ve had a little experience with the wind,” Conti said. “We were pretty nervous near the end, but we survived the last game when we were against the wind as well. It goes for both teams. We’re very proud of the boys.”
“We couldn’t muster any offence,” Silveri said. “We may have had two or three shots on net, but that was it. It was tough.”
The championship win puts GCVI in the CWOSSA junior tournament slated for Thursday and Friday at the Gryphon Soccer Complex. The Gaels will head into that tournament without much knowledge of the other participants.
“We haven’t been there in a bit. If the boys play like today, we can beat any team,” Conti said. “We played in a preseason tournament up in K-W and we were competitive, although they were shortened games.”
At CWOSSA, GCVI will be in a pool with the Cameron Heights Gaels of Kitchener, second in D6/11, and the D8 champion St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener. The other pool contains D6/11 champion Waterloo CI Vikings, D4 champion Norwell Varsity Reds and D8 runners-up Resurrection Phoenix of Kitchener.
It’ll be round-robin play Thursday with games at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Top two in each pool advance to Friday’s 9:30 a.m. semifinals. The semifinal victors are to meet in the final at 12 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal