The Muskie boys’ soccer team was eliminated from further contention at the all-Ontario ‘AA’ championship after a 1-0 loss this morning to the third-ranked St. Joseph’s Rams (St. Thomas).
That left the black-and-gold with an 0-3 record in Pool ‘C’ heading into their final round-robin game this afternoon against the Theriault Flames (Timmins).
Only the top two teams from each pool advance to the quarter-final round later today.
“They [St. Joseph’s] were able to capitalize on their chances and we didn’t, which has been the story of our week,” Muskie coach Shane Beckett lamented from Windsor.
“We out-chanced them by about a 10-to-1 margin, but their goalie was able to make four gigantic saves, including one that was right on the goal line,” he added.
“Then just before the end of the first half, their best player was able to get a chance on net and he scored an absolutely ridiculous goal to give them the lead.”
Having lost their first two games of the tournament yesterday, Fort High needed to win out on today and also get some help from the other teams in their pool in order to advance to the playoff round.
“We needed to have the team from Windsor [Kennedy Clippers] lose both of their games in order to have a shot,” Beckett explained.
“But they throttled Timmins 6-0, so at that point we knew it was pretty much over,” he remarked.
After opening play with a 2-1 loss to fifth-ranked St. Paul (Mississauga) yesterday morning, the Muskies were blanked 4-0 that afternoon by the host Clippers, who entered the 20-team tournament as the defending champs.
“That was the best team that I ever coached against,” Beckett said of the Clippers.
“Our guys never gave up and battled right with them for the first 15 minutes,” Beckett noted.
“But Kennedy was able to figure out our system right after that, and they showed exactly why they are the defending provincial champions.”
The Muskies at least will look to finish the tournament on a winning note when they will take on Timmins, also winless at 0-3, at 2 p.m. (EDT).
“After losing two games we felt we should have won [St. Paul and St. Joseph’s], there’s a really bad taste in the guys’ mouths right now, especially with the senior players,” Beckett admitted.
“In those games we felt that we were the better team, so if we can continue to play like that, we should be fine against a short-staffed team in the Flames,” he reasoned.