Senior boys earn draw before loss to St. Anne’s
By Pat Payton
STRATFORD – No wins, no losses, but two 0-0 ties.
That’s the way the Huron-Perth regular season started for the DCVI Senior girls soccer team here last Tuesday at Cowan Field, the impressive new astro-turf soccer pitch that opened late last summer.
In their opening game of the day, Salukis battled Stratford Central Rams to a scoreless stalemate. Becky Knarr notched the shutout for St. Marys.
In their second match of the day, strong defence–especially in the second half–helped the DCVI Senior girls hold off the St. Anne’s Eagles from Clinton and gain another point in the standings.
Eagles’ best chance came in the second half when they were awarded a penalty kick after a hand-ball in the Salukis’ goal area. The St. Anne’s shooter sailed her kick over the net, allowing Kate Barnett to earn the shutout for St. Marys. Barnett, who played a strong game, received solid support from defenders such as Sarah Black, Grace Hutton, Hannah Kooy and Felicity Vernooy.
“We knew that we were up against tough teams today,” Salukis’ coach Ashley Kroonen told the Independent. “We weren’t that optimistic, but we’re happy with what we’ve seen so far. We know what we have to work on.”
Kroonen says improving “positional play” is at the top of the list.
“Initially, we have to work on positioning,” she said. “We had a tough go to start because we’ve only been out on the field a handful of times because of the weather. We’ve had a lot of indoor practices.
“Our team is mostly made up of Grade 12s, with just a few Grade 11s who are new to Senior.”
Tie, loss for Senior boys
The DCVI Senior boys didn’t fare quite as well last Tuesday in their H-P openers in Stratford.
After battling the Central Rams to a 1-1 tie, the Salukis dropped a 6-2 decision to the St. Anne’s Eagles.
In their morning game, the DCVI Seniors fell behind 1-0 to Central, but gained a tie on a goal by Cameron McKone.
In the afternoon, Salukis met a good ball-moving squad from St. Anne’s and trailed 2-0 by the half-time break. Houston O’Hara and Thomas Wrigley scored for St. Marys.
The DCVI Senior boys, with several returning players, are coached by Ciaran Brennan and Eric Stam this year.
“We’ve had strong interest; I think we have 20 players this year,” Stam said. “We’re working really hard and trying some new formations.
“Ciaran is an experienced coach from Ireland, and he’s been pushing the guys hard and trying some new things. And I think the guys have really been responding to it. We’re expecting to have a good season.”
Upcoming games: The DCVI Senior teams were scheduled to play in Listowel on Tuesday of this week. Salukis host Mitchell and Wingham F.E. Madill at home on Tuesday, May 8.