Captures first-ever A girls’ title
SUMMERSIDE – The Athena Hawks won the Summerside school’s first-ever P.E.I. School Athletic Association Midget A Girls Soccer League championship on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks, behind a two-goal performance from Taylor Gillis and Emily Steele’s shutout goaltending, blanked Birchwood 2-0 in the provincial gold-medal game.
“It’s a big deal for us (to win the provincial championship),” said Athena coach C.J. Studer. “Athena is a very small school, and to have a good year with my girls is amazing.
“We were undefeated this year. . . I’m proud of them. They played very well.”
At a windy Eric Johnston Field, Athena took a 1-0 lead in the first half as Gillis headed in a Nikki Arsenault corner kick.
Gillis added an insurance goal in the second half on a beautiful set-up by Abbie Corish.
Although Birchwood pressed in the second half, the Hawks played strong defence and did not allow many quality scoring chances.
“We played four fullbacks (all season), but we knew that wasn’t going to work so much in the final,” explained Studer. “So we started (using) the sweeper two games ago, and the girls took to the new strategy very well.
“Our keeper (Steele) was a wall today, she did her best and really controlled the box. We’re going to miss her next year.”
Studer said a big reason for the Hawks’ success this season was the players’ hard work, grit and toughness.
“We did not have high expectations (at the start of the season),” continued Studer. “We came in wanting to work hard, and we pride ourselves on work ethic.”
In the boys’ gold-medal game at UPEI, Montague Storm keeper Brandon Lund and Souris keeper Riley Flynn were perfect through regulation time and overtime.
Montague outscored Souris 4-3 in penalty kicks to claim the provincial championship.
“It’s a big deal for us (to win the provincial championship). Athena is a very small school, and to have a good year with my girls is amazing.We were undefeated this year. . . I’m proud of them. They played very well.” Athena coach C.J. Studer
In the boys’ bronze-medal match at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, Athena came out fast and never looked back in posting a 7-1 win over Evangeline.
Connor MacAulay, Brandon Ndiweni and Steve Smallwood scored early goals for the Hawks, with Evan Gallant replying for Evangeline. The other Athena scorers are unavailable.
Winning keeper was Morgan Crossman.
Girls’ bronze medal
Souris received two goals from Emma Sweeny in the 12th and 68th minutes en route to a 2-0 victory over Kinkora in the bronze-medal game at UPEI.
Hannah MacDonald recorded the shutout, and Brooklyn Martin was Kinkora’s keeper.