Saturday, July 4, 2015

Muskie soccer squads golden

It was old hat for one team and the best new feeling for the other.
The celebratory mob scenes were strikingly similar, though.

The Muskie boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will be heading to southern Ontario next week after capturing gold at the NorWOSSA championships yesterday afternoon in Kenora.
Cam Lidkea scored the clinching goal while Ben Whitburn rebounded from a rough beginning to record two clutch saves as the boys nipped the Dryden Eagles 3-2, winning the penalty kick shootout 4-2.
“I had no clue this was going to be the outcome of my season when it started,” said Lidkea, the Grade 9 rookie who got into the game in the waning minutes of the second 10-minute overtime half.
He then rocketed a shot past Eagles’ keeper Brady Desserre to secure the Muskies’ fourth-straight NorWOSSA crown.
“What do you say about Cam Lidkea?” chimed in Muskie head coach Shane Beckett, whose team fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in regulation.
Fort High then trailed after the first round of penalty kicks before rallying to punch their ticket to the all-Ontarios in Leamington from June 3-5.
“We wish we could get him out there more, but we’re already so strong at the centre midfield position it’s tough to get him in there,” Beckett noted.
“But that was just such a clutch kick.”
Eagle Brendan Bartlett netted the first shootout goal, but the Muskies tied it on Max Williams’ marker.
Dryden regained the lead on their second kick from Ryan Hron but again Fort High responded with a tally from Tyler Ruppenstein.
Whitburn slammed the door after that—making a diving save on Joel Zeiroth’s attempt, which allowed the Muskies to then take the lead thanks to Ian Jodoin’s bullet that deflected off Desserre’s hands and in.
Then Whitburn punched away Wyatt Gouliquer’s drive—setting the stage for Lidkea’s heroics.
Jodoin and Ruppenstein scored in regulation time for the Muskies.
The boys will have company at OFSAA for the first time in a while after the Muskie girls held on for a 1-0 victory over Dryden to earn a trip to Collingwood on June 3-5.
“It’s very exciting . . . I’m so proud of the girls,” lauded head coach Alyssa Holliday, who will lead the first Muskie girls’ soccer team to OFSAA since 2008.
“I’m very confident in this team,” she added.
“When we play down there, the team knows it needs to step up its game.”
The Eagles, who eliminated the defending champion Kenora Broncos in the semi-final earlier in the day, hung with the Muskies throughout a scoreless first half.
But in the 52nd minute, Claire Hyatt unleashed a wicked drive from 30 yards out that caught Dryden keeper Alyssa Deschene on her line.
The ball sailed just over her outstretched arms.
“I just shot it,” grinned Hyatt, who delivered the game-winner despite having to play with a nose plugged with tissue after suffering a first-half nosebleed when she was struck in the face with the ball.
“This is an amazing feeling.”
Amy Penner earned up the shutout—coming through with two big saves on Dryden chances from in close in the final 15 minutes.
“Amy played really aggressive and if she hadn’t, the Eagles might have had some even better chances,” noted Holliday.
The OFSAA seedings and groupings are not set as of yet, with other conferences wrapping up their playdowns this week.

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