Tuesday, May 23, 2017
By Rob J. Ross
TILLSONBURG, Ont. - A dozen years wait is over.
For the first time this decade, the Parkside Stampeders boys' soccer team is heading to the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) tournament.
A 3-2 win over the Tillsonburg Glendale Gemini, ended the drought, in the Thames Valley Region Athletics South-East division final, at the Tillsonburg Minor Soccer Park.
Dylan Rennie scored the game winning goal with about five minutes remaining the second half, taking a pass from Camden Smida, who drew the Glendale keeper in his direction.
"Two very, strong physical teams and both have a couple players who can really play the game well." Parkside coach Lawrence Moffatt said. "This is the strongest team I've seen at Parkside in 11 years. We've been going strong since March. We had a prize in mind, get to WOSSAA and once we get there, who knows what could happen."
Cooper Stock gave the Stampeders a 1-0 lead, in the dying seconds of the first half.
Glendale had a 2-1 lead mid second half, thanks to Kyle Karwur and Connor McDowell, on a penalty kick.
"It was just stick to the game plan. Remember that we're the best team, don't have them (Stamapeders) doubt that. We're very resilient and have great team chemistry," Moffat said. "We cycle through our forwards. We get them to go in and give it their all. They know they'll get their playing time, just give everything you got."
Camerin Zimmer tied the game at two, tapping in the ball two feet out from the goal line, capitalizing on a well placed corner kick.
The Stampeders went 3-1 during the South Division regular season before eliminating Woodstock CI and Woodstock Huron Park in the playoffs.
Parkside kicked off their year winning the Western tournament last month, beating three London schools, Lucas, STA and John Paul II, along the way.
At WOSSAA, back here on Thursday, Parkside will play London South in a semi-final (10:30 a.m.), while the Huron-Perth champion sees London St. Andre Bessette.
The winners meet in the WOSSAA final at 2 pm. The champion heads to OFSAA, June 1-3, in North Bay.