Muskie girls open all-Ontario action Thursday morning

The Muskie girls’ soccer team has been seeded 11th for the all-Ontarios, which get underway Thursday in Sudbury.
Playing in Pool ‘C,’ the black-and-gold will open action at 11 a.m. (EDT) against third-seeded St. Mary’s High School (Woodstock) before meeting sixth-seeded Jean Vanier Catholic High School (Collingwood) at 3 p.m.
They’ll wrap up pool play Friday at 11 a.m. (EDT) against 14th-seeded Timmins High and Vocational School.
The top two teams from each pool advance to the quarter-finals.
The Muskies qualified for the all-Ontarios after capturing silver at the NWOSSAA showdown here Saturday, dumping the Nip-Rock Lakers 7-0 in their morning game and then losing 1-0 to the St. Ignatius Falcons (Thunder Bay) that afternoon.
Because the Falcons won the silver medal at OFSAA last year, NWOSSAA was allowed to send two teams to the all-Ontarios this year.
That meant the Muskies were in after beating the Lakers—no matter what the outcome of their game versus the Falcons, who will be playing in Pool ‘D’ as the fourth seed at OFSAA.
The top seed is the Char-Lan District High School Crusaders from Williamstown.
It took a few minutes for the black-and-gold to get started in their opening game Saturday against the Lakers—their first competitive action in several weeks.
The first goal came on a penalty kick by Sarah Barton. Then they had a few more good scoring chances and near-misses before Kate Basaraba made it 2-0 off a corner kick.
Hilary Morgan added a third goal before halftime.
The Muskies continued their domination in the second half, with the Lakers never getting a real chance against keeper Leanne Kaemingh. Basaraba, meanwhile, adding three more goals to seal the win.
After St. Ignatius blanked Nip-Rock 8-0 in the second game of the day, the Muskies went up against the Falcons already knowing they were going to OFSAA.
“This game, in terms of standings, means diddly-squat,” said Struchan Gilson, who had stepped aside as coach for the game since he had been away for most of the previous week on family business.
The wind picked up for the afternoon game, blowing the ball across the field and often out of bounds.
The Muskies best chance came off a free kick from half-field. The ball carried to the goal and the Falcons’ goalie went after it, leaving an open net, but Fort High could not get the ball under enough control to put it away.
St. Ignatius scored the only goal of the game off a rebound with just 12 minutes left in regulation time.
“The St. Ignatius team said they hadn’t been challenged like us before,” said Caroline Spencer, who was the acting coach for the Muskies. “I’m thrilled with them.”
Most of the rookie players got into the morning game against the Lakers, and having the chance to watch the quality play in the afternoon will be good experience for them, added Spencer.
“It’s good experience for them, and to watch OFSAA, too,” she noted.
On a special note, Australian exchange student Rebecca Day, who said she had never won anything before, now has a NorWOSSA gold medal and an NWOSSAA silver to take home with her at the end of the school year.