Dorchester opens OFSAA 1A girls' soccer with two ties playing without their
most experienced players due to a conflict over prom and the OFSAA banquet
Thursday, June 6, 2019
STONEY CREEK, ON. - The Dorchester Beavers have a different look on the field but their OFSAA goal remains.
After day one of the 1A provincial high school girls' soccer tournament, the Beavers have a pair of ties, knotting it with Hamilton Christian and Newcastle Clarke High, here at the Heritage Green Sport Park.
Sarah Smith and Annika Nolte scored in a 2-2 affair with Clarke High, after battling back from a 2-0 deficit.
Smith had five scoring opportunities and the Beavers hit a post late in the game, in a scoreless draw with Hamilton Christian, in their OFSAA opener.
Dorchester hopes to improve on their quarterfinal appearance of a year ago. But the team is attempting to achieve that OFSAA goal without some of their most experienced players, including their top goal scorer Hannah Vickers.
Due to the school's prom and the OFSAA banquet both occurring tonight, six graduating seniors were given an ultimatum earlier this week by the school, attend the entire banquet or don't play any games at the tournament. The players chose prom, but were planning for an early appearance at the banquet before leaving. No games were to be missed. The school's administration wanted the players to stay for the entire banquet, fearing sanctions from OFSAA. Attendance is actually never taken at the banquets and OFSAA only examines a matter if a formal complaint is filed.
Dorchester coach Richard Cracknell said he couldn't speak on the prom issue, or the challenge of moving on without players who helped the team advance to OFSAA.
"I won't comment on that," said Cracknell. "I'm just going to comment on the players we have here and they played awesome."
The situation has forced younger players to suddenly step up into positions they may not have had during the season.
"Every half we've improved and we've played really well. I'm really proud of them," said Cracknell. "They've all had a role to play. To watch them grow and mature as players it's wonderful."
Smith led in offensive opportunities and Cracknell pointed out the play of Nolte, Avery Rice, Leiha Hunt and Jaime Worsfold.
"They've really showed maturity. They've really showed depth. I look at the team and each one of them stood out when they needed too," Cracknell said.
Rallying from a 2-0 hole mid second half against Clarke High may have given the players momentum the team can roll in Friday's games.
"That was determination. You saw those girls give it their all. They were just awesome," said Cracknell. "Day one of OFSAA and we're undefeated. That's a great stat to have at OFSAA."
Cracknell feels his team will have to win one, if not both, of their final two pool games to move on.
Dorchester (0-2-0) takes on Breslau Woodland Christian (2-0-0) and Timiskaming District (0-0-2) tomorrow. A top two placement is needed in each pool, to advance to the quarterfinals, late Friday afternoon.