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Pan U-21 lads impress in early going - Panhellenic Update

In an effort to provide a more consistent approach to offering coverage for the wide variety of sports that are highlighted on SudburySports.com, we've decided to include a new feature. Weekly and bi-weekly divisional or league updates will offer a wide array of statistical tidbits, roster updates, tournament results for participating teams. The Panhellenic Soccer Club will be featured every Sunday - next update is June 29th

Panhellenic U-21 men

For the first time in a few years, Panhellenic is fielding a team at the U-21 level, with Mike Hussak and Arvo Lang handling the squad that is competing in the Ontario Soccer League (OSL). A great start to the summer for the young men which includes a core of players who worked their way through the ranks as part of the Panhellenic Timberwolves contingent.

Add in some out of town re-inforcements courtesy of the Laurentian Voyageurs program (Adam Bignucolo - North Bay; Jordan Courchesne - Stirling) and you have the makings of an extremely competitive team. That has been shown to date as the Sudbury squad remains unbeaten in league action after five games, with four wins and a tie.

Panhellenic opened the OSL season on the road, earning a hard-fought 3-2 win over Barrie as Steve Rachkowski tallied twice with Trevor Beange adding a single. A much easier time in the back-end of the weekend double-header as Sudbury received two goal efforts from both Justin Guay and Adam Bignucolo in bouncing East York 6-1. Kevin Boyle and Luis Parada rounded out the scoring for the local lads.

The team returned for their home opener in early June, picking up a second straight lopsided win with a 7-0 shutout of the Vaughan Azzuri. Luis Parada and Brent Huffels paced the attack with two goals apiece with Adam Bignucolo, Steve Rachkowski and Dale Pidutti adding one goal each. Jon Hussak registered the whitewash in net for the local crew.

Back on the road again and the Panhellenic men fail to taste victory for the first time this summer, playing to a 1-1 draw with Unionville as Jordan Courchesne nets the only Sudbury goal. The team rebounds nicely the very next day as Adam Bignucolo, Brent Huffels and Derek Lang all enjoy two goal outings as Panhellenic blasts Kleinburg 6-1.

Their second home encounter of the summer finds the locals in much tougher this time around as Barrie pays a visit to town. Still, Panhellenic is able to improve to 5-0-1 on the season, blanking the visitors 2-0 as Lockerby Vikings striker Derek Huffels nets his first two goals of the year.

The weekend of June 27th, 28th and 29th is likely the team's most difficult three day stretch of the season, facing Darlington in Round # 2 Ontario Cup action on Friday night before resuming regular season play Saturday against Oshawa Turul and Sunday versus North Toronto. Turul and Toronto currently hold down second and third place respectively behind the front-running Panhellenic contingent.

Panhellenic Thunder U-13 Girls

Playing in their first tournament of the summer, the Panhellenic Thunder U-13 girls ventured south to Darlington, joining five other U-13 teams in the Darlington Invitational. The event featured two divisions of three teams for round robin action, with divisional cross-over games for the playoff round.

The Thunder opened tournament play facing the Oakridge Wildfire, a team which sees action in the London District Youth Soccer League. Despite the fact that Panhellenic carried the play in the opening half, earning the better of the scoring chances, the contest remained scoreless as the teams took to the pitch for the second half.

In the second half, Sudbury struck quickly, with a well placed shot courtesy of striker Laura Ozoria. The Thunder continued to apply pressure after taking the lead and were rewarded not long after as Carlee Parisotto converted on a direct free kick, lifting her shot over the Oakridge keeper from 25 yards out as Panhellenic held on for a 2-0 win.

Next up, the Belleville Comets of the Eastern Region Soccer League, anxious for a win after playing to a scoreless draw in their opening encounter. Sudbury was a bit flat off the start and Belleville took advantage, netting the first goal about five minutes in. Sudbury battled on and kept the contest close, thanks in large part to some huge saves from Sudbury keeper Ashley Bechard.

Eventually, a laser of a shot from Laura Ozoria caught the inside of the far post to knot the game at one. Belleville tried desperately to score but strong defensive play throughout the Thunder midfield and backline kept the Comets at bay.

Game three would find Sudbury opposite yet another ERSL squad as the Cataraqui Clippers of Kingston provided the opposition. The Clippers entered the contest with an 0-2 mark but this seemed more an indication of just how competitive the tournament field was as Cataraqui and Panhellenic hooked up in a pretty entertaining affair.

The combination of a desperate Clippers' team and a Sudbury squad that just could not find their rhythm would lead to the locals playing a more defensive game than they envisioned. Cataraqui pushed forward throughout and finally scored the first and only goal of the match. Sudbury's Valentina Delre had a couple of chances however the Cataraqui keeper stood her ground, earning the shutout in a 1-0 win.

The Belleville Comets would go on to capture the tournament championship, besting the Darlington Force 1-0 on penalty kicks. A tournament record of 1-1-1 provided head coach Tim Paquin with plenty of reason for optimism. "Overall, the team played well with players communicating...this bodes well for the team's future", he noted.

The 2008 edition of the Panhellenic Thunder U-13 Girls team includes: Shannon Ashe, Eve Boissonneault, Ashley Bechard, Allison Contini, Jamie-Lee Dahlvick, Valentina Delre, Milyssa Hunt, Mallory Labine, Pascale Lavergne-Giroux, Laura Ozoria, Emily Paquin, Carlee Parisotto, Lisa Romanyszyn, Emily Sanders and Julia Sostarich. Assisting Tim Paquin with the coaching duties are William Delre and Victor Willhem while Sally Lavergne tackles the team manager duties.

Panhellenic Spitfire U-13 Boys

A hectic summer of NRSL (Northern Region Soccer League) action for the Spitfire was not made any easier this past weekend. The closure of all city fields in North Bay due to the extreme amount of precipitation the Gateway City has received forced the cancellation of the opening weekend of NRSL action for the Sudbury crew and two of the three other teams vying to move on to a berth in the Central Soccer League.

The only division that is seeing NRSL play this summer, the U-13 Boys grouping features four teams: Sudbury Panhellenic Spitfire, North Bay, New Liskeard and Thunder Bay. Head coach Peter Zeman and the Sudbury crew make the trek to Thunder Bay on the weekend of July 19th-20th and will enjoy the opportunity to host a six-game weekend on August 16th and 17th.

Zeman indicated that no dates have been chosen yet to replace the lost weekend in North Bay. It's sure to be a very busy summer for a number of the Spitfire lads as no less than nine players are also out with Brian Ashton and the Northern Ontario Regional program, a commitment that requires young athletes to take part in two-day workouts every second weekend.

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