Relatively speaking, it was a quiet start as play kicked off Friday evening in the 12th annual Panhellenic Soccer Tournament. Just five games on the schedule, all at one location (Laurentian University) - a far cry from the chaotic 48 period that will ensue as a total of 84 teams compete for championship banners in 12 different divisions over the weekend.
Not surprisingly, it was primarily local squads that would see action on opening night, including a U-12 boys matchup as Sudbury Croatia Adria and Sudbury Athletic Gladiators play to a 3-3 draw. Dominik Valentic scored a pair of goals to lead the way for Adria, with Jeremy Taylor adding a solo marker while Simon Brock (2 goals) and Mateo Miller replied for Athletic.
In Girls U-14 play, Valley East Greater Sudbury United blanked the Sudburnia Wildcats all-star crew 5-0, as Courtney Smith paced the attack with a two goal effort. Sara Falvo, Brandy Charsley and Breanna Breton tallied once each while Renee Bigras chalked up the shutout.
The United squad have enjoyed a decent 7-day stretch, picking up their first victory of the season in CGSL play the previous weekend. A bit of a shocker in boys U-14 action as the Valley East Dragons, reunited for the first time this year to play in the Panhellenic tournament, downed the Sudbury Panhellenic Cyclones 1-0 on a goal courtesy of Steven Beaupre.
Meanwhile, the Sudbury Panhellenic Fire and Valley East Thunder U16 girls meet for the second time in as many days, with fireworks kept to a minimum as the teams played to a scoreless draw. The encounter one night earlier was a fierce battle, by all accounts, with a pair of red cards handed out.
Finally, in a Girls U-17 division contest, the visiting Bradford Eagles downed the Valley East Dragons 2-0, getting the early jump on the competition in the five-team pool. Play continued throughout the day on Saturday, with finals slated to begin at 11:45 a.m. at Laurentian University and the last game set to wrap up likely around 7:00 p.m. or so.