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Rural girls successfully defends senior AAA crown


CORNWALL – Sydney Whitlock may have scored the winning goal, but she quickly deflected praise to her teammates.

The Three Oaks Axewomen’s Paige Deighan heads the ball while being closely defended by Nicolle Derry of the Charlottetown Rural Raiders. The action took place during the first half of the .E.I. School Athletic Association Senior AAA Girls Soccer League championship game in Cornwall on Saturday. The Raiders prevailed 3-2 to repeat as provincial champions.

The Grade 10 student from East Royalty broke a 2-2 tie with only two minutes remaining in regulation time to give the Charlottetown Rural Raiders a 3-2 win over the Three Oaks Axewomen in the P.E.I. School Athletic Association Senior AAA Girls Soccer League championship game.

“It’s really good for us to give that back to the Grade 12s, because they really helped us through this year,” said Whitlock. “It’s a really good feeling for the whole team.”

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Winning goal

With overtime looming and the teams playing under the lights at the Terry Fox Sports Complex early Saturday evening, Whitlock capitalized on a corner kick by Kami Chaisson to give the Raiders a one-goal win over Three Oaks in the gold-medal game for the second year in a row.

“It was the perfect hit right to me,” explained Whitlock. “I tried to head it, I was lucky to make contact and it went into the corner.”

Whitlock made a point to credit Chaisson.

“Kami’s awesome kick led to that goal,” continued Whitlock. “I give a lot of credit to her for that. It’s a really good feeling to be able to help the team out.”

 

Quick goals

After a scoreless first half, the teams combined for three goals in about a three-minute span. Rural’s Emily Cormier opened the scoring in the 73rd minute on a nice passing play with Maddy Fisher, but Taylor Gillis answered for Three Oaks less than a minute later. Maddy Hurley scored less than two minutes later to put Rural up 2-1.

Nikki Arsenault pulled the Axewomen even in the 80th minute, setting the stage for an exciting finish.

“It was like a lot of panic setting in, and once we got that (go-ahead) goal we just had to keep it for the last five minutes,” offered Whitlock.

Keepers were Ali Muise (Rural) and Lauren Gallant (Three Oaks).

 

Coach pleased

Axewomen coach Sara McKenna said she could not have asked for anything more from her players, noting they left everything they had on the field against the very skilled Raiders.

“The girls played extremely well,” said McKenna. “They battled hard, and are a great bunch of kids.

“They’re all great athletes, they all have big hearts and they play with pride for Three Oaks.”

 

Highlight

One highlight for the Axewomen was winning the Colonel Gray Wall of Fame Cup tournament earlier this month.

 “We had a great year,” reiterated McKenna. “We didn’t play very many games, which is kind of disappointing, but the season is very short.

“We spent a lot of time doing workouts, and getting in shape.”

 

Westisle wins bronze

In the bronze-medal contest, the Westisle Wolverines prevailed in a battle of two defensive-minded teams.

Janelle Perry scored the game’s lone goal in the 80th minute to give the Wolverines a 1-0 decision over the Colonel Gray Colonels at the Terry Fox Sports Complex on Saturday.

Julie Gallant was perfect in goal for the Wolverines, and Kaitlyn Grayson put in a strong performance between the pipes for the Colonels.

 

Jason.Simmonds@TC.TC

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