Louis Riel Rebelles win 'AA' soccer crown in dramatic fashion
By Fred Sherwin
By midfielder Matthew Monteith wrestles the ball away from a St. Pius defender
during the NCSSAA Tier 1 senior boys soccer championship on Wednesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
after the Louis Riel Rebelles senior boys soccer team had won the city 'AA' championship
in extra time on Wednesday, their head coach Imad Ghandoura was at a loss as to
where they would be playing next.
be honest I have no idea," said Ghandoura when asked where the provincial
'AA' championships were being held. "We didn't even think we would make it
this far. We've been a work in progress for the past three years."
the record, the provincial 'AA' championships are being held in Windsor, but they
aren't being held until next June which will give the Rebelles plenty of time
to prepare. For now they plan to bask in the glory of doing the unexpected.
Rebelles started the season 2-0 and then downed Gisele Lalonde in between ties
against Ridgemont and Ashbury before winning their final two games to finish 5-0-2.
After squeaking past Woodroffe in the semi-finals they earned a date with the
upstart St. Francis Xavier Coyotes in Wednesday's title game.
the Rebelles have been building their team for the past three years, the Coyotes
have only been in existence for two years, owing to the fact that the Riverside
South school opened its doors for the first time last fall.
game itself was a back and forth affair until midway through the second half when
the Coyotes came within a whisker of settling the contest in regulation. During
a two on one break, St. Francis had a shot at a wide open net and ended up sending
the ball past the far post.
Riel had their chances to win the game in regulation as well, but misfired both
game was destined for penalty kicks, when St. Francis turned the ball over at
midfield allowing Alex Martel to send the loose ball through to JoŽl MacDonald
who split the defence and fired the game winning goal past the Coyotes keeper
who was coming out to challenge him.
Rebelles junior boys team will be trying to duplicate the senior team's accomplishment
when they open the playoffs against Earl of March on Friday.
Wednesday's other championship game involving an east end team, the Colonel By
Cougars lost 1-0 to the St. Pius X-Men in the NCSSAA Tier 1 title game.
game was a terrifically well-played affair which unfortunately was decided on
a misplayed ball by the Cougars' central defender in the 19th minute of the second
Turner, who had several chances in the second half, was the beneficiary on the
play and easily stroked the ball past Cougars keeper Kevin Capon to give the X-Men
minutes earlier, Capon made a spectacular diving play to punch the ball away from
the goal line after stopping the initial shot from Turner.
Cougars came close to tying the game with 14 minutes left in regulation when Adrian
Hiotis just missed the far post on a shot from about 30 metres out. Probably the
busiest man in the Colonel By line-up was Marc Bitar who split his time between
centre back and midfield and turned away the X-Men on more than one occasion,
often with his head.
losing their final game, the Cougars will get a chance to play in the provincial
Quad-A championships next June after the X-Men opted to play in the 'AAA' championships.
10:30 p.m., Nov. 3)
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