Although the Muskie girls’ soccer season ended abruptly Saturday with a disappointing 4-1 loss to the St. Pat’s Saints of Thunder Bay, the future looks bright for next year’s edition.
In fact, the black-and-gold will lose just six players from a very good club that finished 14-3-1 overall.
Back for another season will be veteran offensive players like Laureen Cousineau, Christine Thomson, Sarah Vanderplaats, and Susie Grynol, which should provide the Muskies with another solid lineup.
“We just came up against a very good team [in St. Pat’s],” observed Muskie head coach Struchan Gilson. “[But] I am tremendously happy with our season.
“We improved dramatically with our technical skills, we’ll lose just six players, and we will have several key players returning,” he noted.
Better still, the Muskies will have an automatic berth at the all-Ontarios next year as the host team. Muskie assistant coach Greg St. Croix admitted this time next year should be an exciting time for the high school soccer program here.
“We should have an extremely solid team next year, and I think we are in position to go back to NWOSSAA again next year [where] we will work on improving on this silver medal and take our game up to the next step,” he said.
“We can play with Thunder Bay and I think we can beat Thunder Bay,” he stressed.
St. Croix suggested the fact Thunder Bay teams play soccer 12 months a year gives them an advantage over the Muskie program, which begins in March and lasts just three months.
“It’s pretty hard to compete with that, and I don’t think it’s wise,” he noted. “We have a lot of athletes who play other sports, like ringette, volleyball, or basketball, and that builds well-rounded individuals.”
In related news, Fort High will be sending co-conveners Jason Kabel and Rick Wiedenhoeft to London later this week to observe how the all-Ontario tournament is run.
They will share their findings at the next “OFSAA 2000” meeting coming up June 22 at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.
Anyone who still wants to help out with next year’s tournament can contact either Kabel or Wiedenhoeft at the high school (274-7747).