Offensive onslaught paces Muskie girls

After leading last weekend’s tournament here in offensive production, one thing is certain when it comes to evaluating the Muskie girls’ soccer team.
They can score goals. Lots of them.
Paced by the offensive talents of Laureen Cousineau, who scored six goals in four games over the weekend, the Muskies proved they can put the ball in the net.
In fact, the black-and-gold dominated their NorWOSSA opponents, scoring 20 times while allowing just one goal against.
The Muskies opened action Friday morning with a 10-0 trouncing of Rainy River, led by a hat trick from Cousineau and two-goal performances by Christin Thomson, Noreen Hartlin, and Trista Barker.
Elissa Green got the other goal.
They also blitzed Red Lake 5-1 on goals by Cousineau, Susie Grynol, Hartlin, Carrie Selin, and Thomson.
The team’s only blemish was playing to a 0-0 draw against Beaver Brae (Kenora) but head coach Struchan Gilson said his squad definitely had their share of scoring chances and could have won the game quite easily.
“They outplayed us a bit in the first half but we had a goal called back and then in the second half, Cousineau missed a penalty shot,” said Gilson.
“We had three quality chances that could have conceivably given us a 3-0 win,” he added.
The Muskies rebounded later Saturday to dominate Dryden 5-0 in their final game, getting two-goal performances by Cousineau and Tanya Hughes and one by Thomson, to close out the tournament with a 3-0-1 record, tied for top spot with 10 points with Thomas Aquinas (Kenora).
But the black-and-gold were awarded first place based on their better goals for and against ratio (the Fort was plus-19 while Thomas Aquinas was only plus-nine).
The team’s offensive strength appears to be at the centre-striker position but the Muskies also have a pair of talented speedsters on the wings with the likes of Selin and Grynol.
Each routinely beat opposition defenders to the ball all weekend.
“We like to move the ball up to the wings, and chase it almost like a forecheck in hockey,” said Gilson. “Our wingers are so fast and we have [Cousineau] and her backup [Thomson], who we try to get the ball to in the middle.
“Susie is so fast and Selin has the ability to ward off people to move the ball,” he enthused. “It’s beautiful to have both those types of players.”
Still, Gilson said the key to their success is the midfield, led by Hannah Carter, Caylee Brow, and Amy Wilson. After making a few adjustments to the trio during the tournament, Gilson said the group was nearly impenetrable and allowed very few scoring chances.
This was the first of two regular-season tournaments, the second of which starts today in Kenora featuring the same seven teams.
The Muskies opened play this afternoon with back-to-back games against Dryden and Thomas Aquinas (no scores were available as of press time), and then will take on Sioux Lookout and Beaver Brae tomorrow.
All seven advance to the NorWOSSA playoff tournament here May 22-23 but each will be pooled according to their point totals from these first two tournaments.
Gilson, who is helping organize the playoffs, said he still isn’t quite sure how each team will allotted to each pool but hinted the first, fourth, and seventh-seeded teams will be one pool while the second, third, fifth, and sixth seeds will be in the other.