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(Posted 7:30 a.m., June 1)
Louis Riel successfully defends senior girls soccer championship
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Chelsea Lanos heads the ball over St. Joseph jaguars keeper Carolyn Wong to tie the game in the final minute of the NCSSSAA senior girls Tier 1 soccer championship on Monday. The Louis Riel Rebelles would go on to win the game 3-1 in extra time. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Louis Riel Rebelles are heading back to the OFSAA provincial 'AAA' soccer championships after successfully defending the senior girls Tier 1 NCSSAA title on Monday with a 3-1 win over the St. Joseph Jaguars in extra time.

The Rebelles were led by Chelsea Lanos who scored the game tying goal with just over 30 seconds left in regulation and then tallied the game winner in the first half of extra time to give Louis Riel the win.

The Rebelles dominated the game from start to finish, but their inability to solve the Jaguars' back line combined with their lack of finish on the few occasions they did, put them on the brink of defeat until Lanos' unlikely goal in the waning seconds of the second half

The game tying goal was set up by Rebelles keeper Kelsie English who sent a free kick down the middle of the field where it took a couple of bounces in front of a hard-charging Lanos. The diminutive striker managed to get her head on the second bounce and volley tha ball over Jaguars keeper Carolyn Wong who had come out of her net to try and challenge Lanos on the play.

The ball landed in the middle of the penalty box and then rolled into the net as Wong desperately tried to get back into position.

It was the second time in less than a year that Lanos had rescued her team from the jaws of defeat. She pulled off a similar feat in the final minute of the OFSAA quarterfinals last year.

"It's a really good feeling, biut I owe a lot of the credit to our goalie she delivered a perfect ball," said Lanos.

For her part, English said she was just trying to get the ball as far down the field as possible on the play.

"I kicked it as hard as I could and hoped to cause an opportunity. I did it out of desparation," English said..

Ironically, Lanos is the shortest player on the team, standing just 5'3", but she used every inch of her frame to head the ball over Wong.

Moments before the play, she had all but given up when the referee raised one finger to signal there was just one minute left in the game and the Jaguars had control of the ball in their end.

"I saw the ref put one finger up and I dropped my head for a moment," said Lanos.

After sending the game into extra time, Lanos scored the eventually game winner early in the extra session on a well-placed shot that snuck inside the far post. She nearly scored the hat trick in the second half of extra time, but Wong just managed to get her right hand on the ball and deflected it past the left post. Two minutes later Jamie Ryan beat Wong to make the final 3-1.

The Jaguars played inspired soccer with seven players out of their line-up, including four of their top players who are in New Jersey attending a showcase tournament.

At two points in the game they were down a man, once when a player had to come off the field to tape her feet and again during the last two minutes of regulation when a player had to leave the pitch with a leg injury.

Cassidy Howard scored the Jaguars' lone goal early in the second half on a perfect cross from Breanna Humpreys.

Both the Rebelles and the Jaguars were to leave for their respective OFSAA tournaments on Tuesday. The Rebelles will represent the NCSSAA at the AAA tournament in Windsor and the Jaguars are heading to the Quad-A tournament in Hamilton.

The Rebelles, who already lost their top player from last year in Haisha Cantave due to her being ruled ineligible as a member of the national under-17 team, will likely have to play without English, who has a conflict with volleyball, and Asha Mohhidini who qualified for the OFSAA track and field championships.

'(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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