Muskies to miss playoffs
The Muskie boys’ soccer team will be on the outside looking in for the second-straight year at the all-Ontario ‘AA’ championships.
The black-and-gold were eliminated from playoff contention following a 2-1 loss this morning to the Prince Edward Panthers (Picton) in North Bay.
But it was not to be as the Muskies fell behind 2-0 early in the second half against the Panthers.
Colton Craig got his team on the scoreboard with about 10 minutes to go, but the squad was unable to net that elusive equalizer.
“We really called out the boys before the game to go out and play with pride, and they went out and responded to that by playing their hearts out,” noted head coach Shane Beckett.
“They pushed the game to Prince Edward and carried the play for most of the game, and we also out-chanced them for the most part.
“But we just couldn’t put the ball into the net,” he sighed.
The Muskies wrapped up play in Pool ‘A’ this afternoon against the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders of Oakville (the outcome was not available as of press time) before making the long trek back to Fort Frances.
Following a 3-0 setback to the top-ranked Cardinal Carter Cougars (Leamington) in their opening game yesterday morning, the Muskies fell 1-0 to the St. Mary’s Huskies (Toronto) that afternoon.
“We were pretty flat in the first half, and the goal that they scored came on one of those goalmouth scrambles after the ball slid underneath of [keeper] Scott [Parsons],” Beckett recalled.
“In the second half, though, we came out flying and applied a ton of pressure, and Colton Craig actually scored on a header in the dying minutes, only for it to be called back on an offside.
“It looked like it was a borderline call, but that’s just how things go,” he reasoned.
The loss to the Huskies also was a costly one for winger Brandon McGinnis, who he suffered a left ankle injury that knocked him out of action for the rest of the tournament.
“He rolled his ankle hard going after a ball during that game,” Beckett noted.
“Thankfully nothing’s broken and it’s a Grade 2 level sprain, but he can hardly put any weight on it so he’s out of action for the week.”
The tournament concludes tomorrow with the semi-finals in the morning, followed by the gold-medal game at 3 p.m. (EDT).