Junior Hawks show lotsa’ heart in semi-final loss to St. Mary’s

Leaving it all on the field

By Terrance Gavan

You know what the coach says.

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soccer hhss

Chasing the ball right to the end ... the Hal High Soccer team narrowly missed out on a trip to COSSA. Photo by Terrance Gavan.

“Doesn’t matter whether you win or lose; just play hard; and leave it all on the field.”

And you know why the coach says that, don’t you?

Because the coach is hoping, that in the event of a loss, their players will know just that.

That they left everything they had to give… on the pitch, the ice, the track and the court.

No better tribute for a team.

So congrats to all the girls on the Hal High Red Hawk junior footy club.

We’ll testify right here that you may have lost to St. Mary’s 2-1 on the Gary Brohman pitch in the Kawartha soccer semi-final last Friday.

But big dap girls.

You left it all out there; on the field.

In the other semi-final, Cobourg West beat Holy Cross 2-1.

And St. Mary’s beat Cobourg West 3-0 in the final, moving both Cobourg and St. Mary’s on to the COSSA tournament.

The Hal High junior girls jumped into an early 1-0 lead against the visiting and favored St. Mary’s Secondary in the first game of the day.

Kudos to Sharon Dibblee who organized the Kawartha tournament hosted this year by Hal High.

St. Mary’s, as the number one seed got to pick who they wanted to play in that first game of the semis. They chose Haliburton

St. Mary’s battled back to knot the score at 1-1 just before time expired in the opening half. The game winner came after St. Mary’s capitalized on forward pressure and a pressing midfield zone attack.

Hawks girls did come up with some excellent chances near the end of the contest.

They pushed the ball up the field with some nice ups, but the St. Mary’s keeper was just a little too staunch on Friday.

Jessica Bishop anchored the team with her strong midfield presence, well-timed forcing play and those fantastic ups to the Hawks’ strong forwards.

But St. Mary’s proved more than equal to the task in that second half, moving the ball out of harm’s way with a strong, solid fullback presence.

Quite obvious that a lot of these St. Mary’s girls play rep league soccer, and their goalie had an awesome left foot, that was used time and again to relegate the ball deep down field, thwarting any concerted Hawk attack.

St. Mary’s backfielders had the same strong clearance capabilities, and were able to maintain their composure late in the game. Their strong play managed to nullify most of the Hawks rushes.

The Hawks played with a sense of urgency right to the last whistle.

And that’s all a coach can ask.

The really great thing about leaving everything on the pitch is something the French like to call the “je ne regret rien” factor.

No regrets. None needed.

All of the junior girls and their coach Judi Paul know the score.

It didn’t go in their favor.

Which is a bummer.

But no one can question the heart of this team.

Paul was as disappointed as her girls after the game. But she looked over at them and said that she was “proud” of every single one.

“The girls played great… we came up short,” said Paul.

On the scoreboard?

Sure.

So it’s pivotal to remind oneself, after a heartbreaker.

That you left everything you had to give.

On the pitch.

Get Gav at gav@countyvoice.ca. See the video for the game with a montage of moments at countyvoice.ca. Twitter.com/terrancegavan.

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