Muskies, Owls battle in tune-ups

Jamie Mountain

Fort High was the scene for a district rivalry Monday afternoon.
Both the Muskies and Rainy River Owls girls’ and boys’ soccer teams got prepared for their seasons with exhibition games against each other.
It was the Owls who came out on top on the girls’ side, claiming the match by a 3-1 score.
Taylor Croswell tallied the Muskies lone goal but head coach Sara Roach was impressed with how her squad fared.
“I think the girls did really well,” she remarked. “Everybody had lots of minutes on the field.
“The game started out a little bit rocky with their nerves and all, but I think that is expected with the first game of the season,” Roach reasoned.
“Overall, I think they all played a really good game,” she added.
“Their communication is getting better and they all played their positions well, which has helped their confidence.”
Which of her players stood out the most to Roach?
“Hailey Beasant played really well in net,” she lauded. “She was aggressive and is becoming more comfortable in her new role as goalie.
“On defence, Gwen Mcdonald and Alina Eldridge really held their line, and were communicating well with the younger players and helping them understand where they should be.
“Taylor Croswell made nice runs on the wing and set up plays,” Roach added, also noting that “Pasquel Shortreed was aggressive up top and Jess Steele was the play-maker of the game.”
Up next for the Muskie girls is an exhibition tournament this Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg.
Roach is hopeful that practice this week will prepare her squad nicely for success on the weekend.
“We will be working more on first touches, as there were some turnovers made on the first touches that did cost us,” she admitted.
“We will be doing more 1-on-1 drills in order gain more confidence with taking space and being more patient with the ball.
“For the weekend, everyone will be getting lots of playing time,” Roach added. “This is going to be their opportunity to maybe try a position that they haven’t played before.
“It should be a fun tournament for them,” she concluded. “We’re all excited.”
In boys’ action from Monday, the Muskies earned a 3-0 shutout over Rainy River (goal scorers weren’t known as of press time).
The Muskie boys also will see action this weekend in Winnipeg at the annual St. John’s Ravenscourt exhibition tournament.
The tourney originally was supposed to run last weekend but poor weather conditions forced it to be rescheduled.
Both Owls’ squads kicked off their NorWOSSA ‘A’ seasons today when they hosted the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) and Sioux Lookout Warriors.
The Owls also will host those same two teams again tomorrow.