Regular- season champs set for playoffs
With the regular season now complete, the top teams in the men’s and women’s divisions of the local Borderland Soccer League now are looking to continue their run of success when the playoffs begin next week.
In women’s action, Boston Pizza dominated play all summer en route to a perfect 18-0 record.
“Our goalie, Amy Wilson-Hands, has made some awesome saves for us,” she noted.
“But our strikers and our mid-fielders have really gone for it, and they have been amazing to watch.”
Leading the offensive charge for Boston Pizza during the regular season were Laureen Peters and Colleen Hogan, who netted 40 and 25 goals, respectively.
Going by their overall record, and the gap between them and second-place Taggs’ Source for Sports (who finished with an 8-7-2 mark), some might think Boston Pizza ran away with things.
But Cousineau was quick to point out going undefeated was a very tough task.
“When we’ve had really tough games against Al’s Racquet Stringing and Taggs, it’s been really hard but we’ve been able to push through,” she remarked.
“What’s been good for us this year is that we’ve able to use our substitutes this year, as we haven’t been able to get enough players in other years,” she added.
Heading into next Wednesday’s semi-final contest against the fourth-ranked La Place Rendez-Vous Voyageurs at 6:30 p.m., Boston Pizza is hoping to erase the bad memories from last year’s playoff-opener, when they were upset by Taggs.
“I hope we can pull it off this time,” Cousineau stressed.
“Things are going good right now and we have the girls who can win, so I hope we have enough to pull through.”
Taggs and Al’s Racquet Stringing will square off in the other semi-final, with the championship game set to take place next Thursday (Aug. 9) at 6:30 p.m. at St. Francis Field.
Meanwhile, in the men’s division, defending champion Manitou Forest Products will enter the playoffs as the top seed thanks to a league-best record of 15-2-1 during the regular season.
“We have another good team here this year, and we’ve been lucky to get the guys that we have as we are playing really well together,” noted central mid-fielder Mike Sande.
“We move the ball really well, and I honestly think that we can do that better than anyone else in the league.
“Most of us have played together before, and with a couple of new additions, we have mixed in nicely,” he added.
One of those new players who has made an immediate impact to the squad has been striker Ahamadou Idrissou, whose 38 goals easily were the most in men’s play.
“You always know when he’s on the field as he’s always a threat to score out there,” Sande said.
“Whenever we are down a goal, we put him up front and he usually gets it done, so it’s nice to have a player like that.
“But it’s not just him, though,” Sande stressed.
“We have Jon Sinclair, who really controls the ball nicely, and Kyle Herr at the back end, who is a very solid defender, so it’s a solid team all around,” he noted.
The men’s division semi-finals are set to get underway next Tuesday (Aug. 7) at 6:30 p.m., with Manitou taking on the La Place Rendez-Vous Voyageurs.
The other game will pit International Travel Services versus Pharmasave.
The winners will advance to the championship game next Thursday (Aug. 9), which also will kick off at 6:30 p.m.