Muskies split games with Owls

The sun wanted to creep through, but the clouds wouldn’t let it.
A steady wind also was present, and it was cold. And if it had rained, then it would have been perfect English “futbol” weather for the Muskie girls’ exhibition game against the Rainy River Owls here yesterday.
“It was pretty darn cold out there . . . and it was pretty miserable,” said head coach Caroline Spencer, who is of English decent.
Conditions may have been miserable, but that was juxtaposed with the play of the Muskies, who took an astonishing 22 shots for a 3-0 win that could have been much more lopsided.
“This was really good,” said third-year player Katie McTavish, who scored her first goal of her Muskie career 25 minutes into the game with a shot from the left side that beat the Owls’ keep on the short side.
“Rainy River [isn’t] the strongest team, but it’s still a big confidence booster, and to get everyone playing and trying is really good,” she added.
Also contributing to the Muskie cause was Blair Harnett, who struck the first goal after converting on an shot that came seven feet from the net.
Rebecca Cornell then gave the Muskies a commanding 3-0 lead early in the second half when she was able to place a knee on a cross that found her five feet from the net.
“We only had three goals, but the shots were there and that just means we need some more practice,” said Spencer.
In fact, the score could have been much higher given Kate Basaraba, one of the team’s premier strikers, had a bundle of scoring chances. But getting over an energy-draining cold seemed to throw Basaraba from her usual converting game.
“She hasn’t been at school the last two days, so she came to school today so she could play this game, and she probably shouldn’t have been playing,” noted Spencer. “But she’s a soccer player.”
But Basaraba and the Muskies will have plenty of time to get over any ailments because the three exhibition games they had lined up against teams in Winnipeg this weekend have been cancelled.
“Everybody is so disappointed because everyone was really looking forward to going so we could try some things out,” said McTavish.
The Muskies will host a tournament next weekend.
In boys’ action yesterday against Rainy River, the Muskie veterans were able to create a plethora of scoring chances in the first half but couldn’t convert them.
Craig McTavish, for one, found the crossbar on one series from in close while Tyson Quibell had near breaks at times.
The Owls did, though, scoring from a corner kick late in the first half for a 1-0 lead.
With Muskie head coach Shane Beckett putting his rookies and less-experienced players on the field to start the second half, the Owls controlled the first 20 minutes.
As such, the Muskie veterans came back into the game—and that’s when Quibell was able to convert on a shot set up by Steve Boileau to even the score at 1-1.
The Muskies continued to press, and began to control the play and pace of the game, to yield several good scoring chances by Kevin Plett, David Pierce, and Scott McFayden.
But it was an indirect kick from inside the 18-yard box that an Owls’ player headed inside the left post to give the visitors a 2-1 win.
The black-and-gold won’t have long to think about yesterday’s game as they headed to Winnipeg today for the annual St. John’s Ravenscourt tournament.
The Muskies begin play in the 12-team tourney at 6 p.m. today against Glenlawn, then tomorrow they will face Miles Mac. The playoff round will follow, with the championship games scheduled for Sunday.
The boys then will host a tournament here next weekend.

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