The Panhellenic Storm may well be the stand-alone Sudbury youth soccer flag bearers next year. The U-16 girls ensured their spot in CGSL (Central Girls Soccer League) play in 2011, picking up a key 2-1 victory over Oshawa Turul in their second to last regular season game.
And they did so in dramatic fashion. Knowing a tie would likely suffice, coach Kevin Roach’s troops settled into a defense-first chess match with Oshawa as the game remained scoreless at the half.
Playing at home, Oshawa finally broke through, scoring with just over ten minutes remaining. But Sudbury countered quickly, coming right back and forcing the play. The pressure paid off when Jenna Hellstrom was taken down hard in the box, giving the visiting Panhellenic crew a critical penalty kick.
For the second straight week, Mariah Clark takes advantage of the Hellstrom call, making no mistake in netting the equalizer and restoring the momentum to the Sudbury side. The flurry continues minutes later when Hellstrom broke down the right side, sending a near perfect cross that Michelle Graham, charging hard off the left flank, heads into the top corner for the game-winning goal.
"It was probably the prettiest goal I've seen all year," confessed Roach. The victory guarantees the Storm no worse than a fifth place finish, with fourth a possibility if Unionville-Milliken drops both of their final two games.
With both the Greater Sudbury United U-14 ladies and the Sudbury Canadians U-13 girls all but mathematically assured of relegation, the Storm may well start 2011 as the only local entry in either CGSL or CSL (Central Soccer League - Boys) play.
Missed opportunities cost the locals a two-game road sweep as Whitby edges Panhellenic 2-1 on Sunday, with Tianna Faubert handling the scoring for the Storm, The team closed out regular season play with a record of 6-5-5 (23 points) and will travel south one more time, tackling the CGSL Cup semi-final on September 18th.