The Muskie boys’ soccer team experienced a trial by fire at the St. John’s Ravenscourt tournament in Winnipeg over the weekend, dropping two of three matches, including a whopping 9-0 loss to perennial provincial contenders St. Paul’s.
“Overall we learned a lot and it went all right,” head coach Shane Beckett said this morning. “We didn’t necessarily end on a high note, but it was a good learning opportunity for us.”
The black-and-gold opened strong with a 2-0 victory against host St. John’s Ravenscourt. Tyler Harris opened the scoring in the first half, with captain Steve Boileau sealing the win in the second half.
The squad didn’t fare as well in their second matchup against J.H. Bruns, allowing two goals in the final 10 minutes to fall 2-0. That was followed by the blowout loss to St. Paul’s.
“I’m not one to make excuses. They’re a good soccer team,” Beckett said of St. Paul’s. “They’re very well coached, they move the ball very well, and you can see why they’re victorious.
“Hopefully it was a character builder, that last one.”
All three games were exhibition matches, which allowed Beckett to focus on the positives of the tournament.
“We had pretty good ball movement throughout, we played four different keepers who, if you exclude the last game, all got good time and played really well,” he noted.
“We got a real good look at where we want to slot guys . . . you see one thing in practice but you see a whole other thing in games,” Beckett added.
Looking ahead, the Muskies are hosting a tournament this weekend made up of matches that will count towards the league standings.
Beckett said the priorities for the week are to maintain game shape and ball pressure, but most of all to figure out the depth chart.
While much of this past tournament was devoted to finding where players will fit on the team, some of them couldn’t make it to Winnipeg and others won’t make it this weekend.
“We probably won’t have our full starting 11 together until we hit NorWOSSA,” Beckett said.
The Muskie girls’ soccer team also competed in Winnipeg. The coaches couldn’t be reached for comment this morning but it’s believed the squad was blanked in three losses.