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Thousands enjoy final weekend of Summer Soccer Fun

Weekly Column appears in Northern Life, every Thursday

More than half of the 5,000+ youngsters who enjoyed a summer of recreational soccer fun hung up their cleats Sunday evening, as playoff weekends concluded in Nickel Centre, Rayside-Balfour and Valley East.

And while the message to the houseleague troops remains that enjoyment must always supersede competitiveness, there was no lack of dramatic finishes in all three outlying municipalities.

Late Saturday afternoon in Falconbridge and the tone would be set. As dusk begins to settle in, Airco and Captured Moments Photography are heading to overtime, as Brandon Heckman-Jack and Darren De Paolis trade goals during the action packed contest.

Some great chances were enjoyed by the likes of Themis Vlahos and Kyle Sweeney, but goaltenders Roberto Bagatto and Andrea De Paolis are up to the challenge, while defender Karli Marcotte steers away a loose ball near the goal line to safety.

But the Airco firepower is simply too much, as Hekcman-Jack nets his second of the game in overtime, with Noah Lapierre adding a little insurance in the 3-1 win.

On the far field, a shootout is needed as Declan Rusgnak and Bailey Champagne trade goals in regulation time, leaving Garson Pipe Contractors and Rock City Auto Supplies tied at one after sixty minutes of play.

Goaltender Xander Thompson comes up big in the penalty kicks, thwarting Rock City on three occasions as Garson Pipe takes the U-10 Championship by a final score of 2-1.

Devon Savignac was a one-man wrecking crew in the U-8 championship tilt, scoring five times in leading the Brad Lecour Accounting Bean Counters to a 5-4 win over Don’s R.V. Mason Adams scored twice in a losing cause, with singles coming courtesy of Braedan Madore and Ayden Popowich.

Finally, the fields were a tad lopsided in the U12 final as the Coldwell Retrievers received two goal efforts from Noah Caruana, Raymond Price and Carter Rollins, rolling over the RBC Leo’s 8-2.

Amidst the drizzle Sunday afternoon in Azilda, Jordan Wood-Spadafore would be the goal scoring hero, picking up his second of the game late in overtime to lift Chartrand’s Independent Grocer past Green Star Laundry 3-2 in the U-10 “A” final.

Things equally as tight in the “B” final as Jeffery Franklin and Joseph Mazur find the back of the net for Johnny’s Towing, staking their squad to a 2-0 win over Archambault Roofing.

Same score is upheld in the U-8 Division “B” Gold medal game. Chelmsford Animal Hospital receive goals from Reilley Leroux-Ayotte and Matthew Gordon, blanking Caisse Populaire Vermillion 2-0. Make it three for three with the U-8 Division "A" encounter as Preston Robert scores twice, lifting Perry Home Renovations past Place Bonaventure Mall 2-0.

Another grouping with matching scores as the U-15 finals are decided by the slimmest of margins. Devyun Meehan and Scott Vaillancourt provide the offensive punch in a 2-1 victory for the Sudbury Canadians over Rollins Photography, with Brian Lawson answering in a losing cause.

In the final “B” contest, Emily Luoung and Taylor Rouleau score one goal apiece, leading Vermillion Lake Park past Sookram Bus Lines 2-1. Only Tyler Sinclair could solve the Vermillion netminder in this game.

Solid defensive efforts provide the story-line in the U-12 division, starting in the “B” championship as Chartrand’s YIG dumps Koski Chirpopractic 3-0. Christien Dufresne finds the mark on two occasions, while Kyle Duval adds a solo marker in the win.

The “A” championship features a second consecutive whitewash as Pro Edge ‘N Paints stops Chelmsford Pharmacy 2-0. Jesse Barberio and Steven Piuzzi took care of the offensive output for the winners.

An all Tim Horton's final (as one would expect) in the U-6 age bracket as Tim Horton's Emerald knocks off Tim Horton's Gold 2-1. A solo marker by Connor Mackey was not enough to offset goals from Noah Leveillee and Emma Coutu in the closely contested final.

The eldest statesmen of soccer in Rayside, the U-18 Division, closes out play with their grand championship finals. Espanola Phoenix claimed top spot on the "A" Division, edging Walden ETC 2-0. Jay Tessier scored twice to lead the Espanola contingent, with Kurt Podlatis adding a solo marker, while Steve Antonioni replied with a pair for Walden.

Walden earns a measure of revenge in the "B" final, as Walden Northern Metal Works clips RBSA Just Soccer 5-0. Elissa Bertuzzi leads the way with a hat-trick, with Steve Lacroix and Steve Marioli rounding out the scoring for the winners.

Home to more than 2,000 participants, the Valley East Soccer Club closed out the weekend of excitement, wrapping up their final game at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening.

With eight games on the go at one time at the Howard Armstrong Sports Complex, it was tough to decide which final to take in – especially when four contests were being decided simultaneously on penalty kicks.

Tim Horton’s, which sponsors a large contingent of U-6 and under and divisions, is guaranteed a winner in the Coed and Girls finals. Tim Horton’s Sky Blue beats Tim Horton’s Red 2-0 (goals from Myla Weiman and Megan Brunet) with the young ladies, while Tim Horton’s Navy Blue bests Tim Horton’s Royal Blue by the same score in the boys grand finale (both goals from Brayden Lafrance).

Plenty of screaming with the U-8 girls as Cousin Vinny’s edges Metro 2-1. Emilie Riess and Megan Parent scored for Vinny’s, with Emilie Lafond replying for Metro.

Alain Loyer handles all of the scoring that was needed in the U-10 coed final as Beange Opticians slips past Cousin Vinny’s 2-1. Alexis Gunther scores a pair of goals in the U-10 girls final, helping ’89 Electric claim bragging rights with a 3-0 win.

After penalty kicks were needed to decide both U-18 girls semi-finals, it was only appropriate the same would happen in the championship affair. Julie-Anne Paradis scores the game-winning goal while keeper Maryse Raymond is still smiling despite a handful of bruises after leading Cousin Vinny’s to back to back shootout victories.

The U14 coed final also comes down to penalty kicks and it’s secret weapon (and defender) Emily Brownlee who scores the game-winning goal, as the 6th shooter for Cousin Vinny’s bounced her shot off the post and in.

Morgan Williston netted a pair of goals, lifting Chico’s Bowl past Post Construction 4-3 in the U-12 Girls final while Mickayla Schneider drills the only goal of the game as Valley Prescription slips past the Kin Club 1-0 (U-14 Girls).

Goals’a’plenty in the U-8 coed final as Blake Cornthwaite (3), Logan Clarke (2) and Branden Poulin pace RHP Training Centre to a 6-0 win over Dr Dunlop.

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