The Pictou Academy Pitbulls girl’s soccer team poses with their medals after losing the provincial final. Front row from left: Claire MacDonald, Madeline MacKinnon, Kristin MacKinnon, Savannah Champagne, Cassidy O’Hearn, Emma Pranovi and Maddy Murray. Back row from left: Kenzie Reid, Kaila Reid, Shae-lyn Redmond, Amelia English, Lauren Quann, Alex Canam, Lindy Quann, Kenzie LeBlanc, Emma Ruiz, Emily MacDonald, Alisha MacNeill, Payton Ruiz and Madison VanVeen.
This past weekend’s result did not come out with the golden outcome that the Pictou Academy girl’s soccer team would have liked, but their season was nothing less than a successful and rewarding one.
The girls started their year mid-August with some indoor conditioning, followed by a full season of practice, tournaments and scheduled games.
The girl’s tournaments included very good results in both the North Nova and Northumberland tournaments, as well as winning the championship at the annual Jimmy George Tournament. With a season of being undefeated against Division 3 and 4 teams, and wins, ties, and narrow losses against Division 1 and 2 teams, they had high expectations in the regional and qualifying tournaments leading up to provincials. After posting back-to-back wins in the Pugwash regionals, the girls took the regional championship. In the provincial qualifier, they defeated Baddeck 1-0.
This past weekend they were up against Cape Breton Highland Academy in the semifinal match. With 80 km/hr winds, it would make for an interesting twist to the game. Despite the obstacle of what Mother Nature brought the game, the girls came out on top of a 1-0 game, advancing them to the title match against École de Sommet.
In the championship match, the girls were able to take a 1-0 lead into halftime, but École de Sommet had a better second half, scoring four goals in the final 15 minutes to win the match and provincial championship 4-1.
The coaching staff (Rick Cyr, Phillip Ruiz, Tara Fanning and Brian MacKinnon) were pleased with the girl’s results throughout the season. They have become a team that are close and worked well together in a team environment. The silver medal represents a step up from last year’s bronze medal finish.
With five girls graduating, much skill remains with the 15 girls from Grades 8-11 that will represent Pictou Academy very well next year with the hopeful next step of medal finishes.
This weekend’s gold medal match represents the first time the team has made the championship match in 13 years. Next year, the Northumberland region will be hosting the provincial championships. With the right results, Pictou is hoping to be that host.