Muskie soccer teams go undefeated

It was a Muskie sweep this past weekend, as both soccer programs were able to go undefeated and win their respective tournaments.
The Muskie boys’ team started with a tough 1-1 draw over the Dryden Eagles—who would also go undefeated in the tourney, but had two ties to the Muskies’ one—on Friday morning with Niels Nijssen providing the goal.
They then followed with a 2-0 victory over the Beaver Brae Broncos, as Nijssen provided another tally, while Chris Plett was able to snugly tuck in a penalty shot.
“I think I did redeem myself,” said Plett, who missed a penalty attempt last weekend in a tournament in Winnipeg where the Muskies won the ‘B’ title.
“I wasn’t as nervous this time for this penalty shot, because I knew I had to put it in and Niels gave me a good talk to before the shot and told me, ‘Feel no pressure and put it in the back of the net,’” he added.
The Muskies would get stronger Saturday with a 1-0 decision over the Red Lake Rams, with Plett once again providing the scoring touch on another penalty shot. That kick resulted from a hand ball by a Rams’ defender in the 18-yard box from a Craig McTavish shot.
The Rainy River Owls, who went 3-0 up to that point with those games counting towards seedings in the NorWOSSA ‘A’ conference (the NorWOSSA ‘AA’ games—Fort Frances, Dryden, and Beaver Brae—did not count towards seeding) would be up next and the Muskies were able to pull away with a 2-0 win.
McTavish and Lucas Romaniuk provided the goals in the first half.
“I think it was a fantastic game and our young guys got a chance to play the young guys for the Muskies, and I think our guys did really well,” said Owls’ head coach, John Laplant.
Added Muskies’ head coach Shane Beckett: “I think all in all, all of the guys got a fair amount of time and I think for the most part that we played our game and we didn’t allow our opponents to dictate the play, and that’s a real big positive going into [this weekend’s tournament in Dryden].”
Seven teams took part in the boys’ tournament.
Girls victorious
And the Muskie girls weren’t too shabby either, as they were far and beyond the best team in their six-team tournament. And the scores reflected that.
They would win their first game against the Rainy River Owls by a score of 5-0 with goals coming from Erin Kaemingh, Alyssa Holliday, Kate Basaraba, Hannah Firth, and Katie McTavish.
St. Thomas Aquinas were up next and another 5-0 win would result with Basaraba supplying the hat trick and Rebecca Cornell notching two goals of her own.
“I think we’re dead-even players, and when players are on her [Cornell] then it frees up room for me and if players are on me then it frees up room for her,” said Basaraba.
The Red Lakes Rams would follow and a 3-0 would result, with Basaraba adding another two goals and Rylee Broman providing the other tally.
And in their last game against the Dryden Eagles, the Muskies faced their stiffest competition, but still won 2-0 with goals provided by Basaraba and Cornell.
“When we played our way in making those two-touch passed and moving the ball we scored and they didn’t know what to do and when we got into a bit of a panic and then start kicking and chasing and then we don’t know what to do,” said head coach Caroline Spencer.
The Muskie girls will also be part of the tournament in Dryden this weekend, with the NorWOSSA championships being held next Wednesday in Kenora.
“But I’m really proud of the girls. They played really well. They’re growing within themselves,” added Spencer.