Owl soccer squads soar in opener

Jamie Mountain

It was a near perfect two days of soccer for the Rainy River Owl girls’ and boys’ soccer teams last week.
The girls’ squad won both of their games while the boys earned a win and a tie in theirs to open the NorWOSSA ‘A’ regular season on the right foot at RRHS last Wednesday and Thursday.
“I was pleased with the girls’ performances, I saw a lot of what we have been practising get transferred into the game,” enthused girls’ coach Rebecca Tolen.
“They played hard and with passion. It was fun to watch.”
The girls’ squad let it be known early that the Sioux Lookout Warriors were going to be in tough as they claimed the first game of the season last Wednesday by a 3-0 score.
Grace Kooistra opened the scoring for the Owls early in the first half when she buried a low shot to the left of the Warriors’ keeper.
Lilly Blakeny doubled the lead later in the frame on a free kick as she roofed a perfect shot over the Warriors’ wall of defenders and over the outstretched arms of the keeper.
Kirsten Armstrong then rounded out the scoring in the second half as she was able to find some room before unloading a low shot into the Warriors’ net.
Naomi Carradice earned the shutout between the pipes.
The Owls and Warriors then squared off again on Thursday morning, where the hosts used a pair of goals from Lara Wood to earn a convincing 6-0 win to start the season with a perfect 2-0 record.
Paige Anderson, Katelyn Brown, Erika Gerula, and Mackenzie Jolicouer also bulged the twin for Rainy River while Carradice earned her second-straight shutout between the pipes.
“I thought they [the girls] did a great job at finishing as well as our defence was indomitable,” Tolen lauded.
“[The ball] rarely got back into our 18-yard box and when it did, our goalie was ready. Naomi Carradice earned herself two shutouts.
“Also, my defence scored in both games so we are really being aggressive in the offensive end and it is paying off,” she enthused.
Tolen noted that the biggest challenge for soccer last week was the weather, as it forced RRHS to have to really work to get the field ready in time due to the late snow melt.
“Then it rained and snowed off and on both days, the field was muddy and slippery,” she conceded.
“Honestly, though, some of the most fun you have is playing in the mud.”
The Owls travelled to Sioux Lookout this week for games against the Warriors and St. Thomas Aquinas Saints of Kenora.
Rainy River was to face the Saints this afternoon, with the outcome not known as of press time, before taking on the host Warriors tomorrow afternoon.
Tolen had some areas in mind that her squad could work on to improve heading into this week’s games.
“We need to work on holding our middle a little better, there were often times our middle was pulled–and when a ball was played there–we were caught out of position,” she conceded.
“[Our] mindset for heading to Sioux this week is just to stay focused. It is important to beat Sioux one more time and T.A. is going to be tough, they always are,” she stressed.
“I am hoping my team will continue to improve with each game and that we put 100 percent effort forth each time we step onto the field.”
As for the boys’ squad, they began the season with a 1-0-1 record last week.
The Owls also started the season off on the right foot as they opened with a 3-1 win over the Red Lake Rams last Wednesday afternoon.
Reece Chorney, Carter St. Pierre, and Nick Vogan all found the back of the net to pace the Owls’ offence.
The squad then faced a much stiffer test on Thursday afternoon as they fought to a 1-1 tie with the Warriors.
Nick Vogan supplied the lone goal for Rainy River.
The boys also resumed play this week in Sioux Lookout with games against the Warriors and Saints.