Girls set sights on ‘drive for five’

If there’s one thing the Muskie girls’ soccer team isn’t lacking, it’s confidence.
And why not? They’re 6-0 in NorWOSSA play so far this season, having outscored their opponents 24-1, and once again are the runaway favourites to win their fifth-straight league title.
All that’s left is to make it official during the NorWOSSA championships, which got underway today in Kenora with pool play against Dryden and Red Lake.
Should they advance, the semi-finals and final are slated tomorrow.
Rainy River, Sioux Lookout, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Beaver Brae (Kenora) are in the other pool.
“We’re playing well,” said Muskie head coach Struchan Gilson. “I don’t expect a letdown at all. We’ll be focused and ready to go.”
The NorWOSSA champ will travel to the north shore of Superior for the three-team NWOSSAA showdown June 1.
But if their last two wins—a pair of 2-0 triumphs over St. Thomas Aquinas and the Kenora Broncos at the second qualifying tournament last weekend in Dryden—taught them anything, it’s that they want to bury their offensive chances early and often.
“We had tons of shots in both games,” noted assistant coach Mandy Wilson, who patrolled the sidelines in Gilson’s absence Saturday. “We just couldn’t put the ball in the net.
“So that’s the one thing we’ve been working on in practice, using our corner kicks a little better and being a little tighter around the net,” she added.
Their biggest threat likely will come from the host Broncos, who played them tight last weekend and scored the only goal the Muskies have allowed.
Kenora also is the last team other than the Muskies to win NorWOSSA, doing so in 1997.
“I don’t think they’re as talented overall as we are but they can get right on you,” noted Wilson.
Sarah Barton led the way in Dryden with two goals while Carling Barton added one and Christin Thomson got the other—her team-leading eighth marker in league play.
Jessica Wilson earned both shutouts in goal.
Thomson and Trista Barker, the latter tied for second in team scoring with three goals, are among the players nursing nagging injuries. But Wilson said they all should be ready when it counts.
“We’ve been nursing injuries all season,” she remarked. “Chrissy’s ankle seemed OK. We’re just trying to save them for playoffs.”

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