MMC hawks claim soccer gold in front of hometown crowd
© Dwayne Chiasson photo
The Mealy Mountain Hawks did their hometown proud, with superior skills and play that led to their winning the provincial 3A girls soccer championship Oct. 19. The girls defeated their rivals to the west — Menihek Magic from Labrador City — to claim the gold medal. Members of the MMC Hawks include, back, from left: Ed Turpin, coach; Julia Kelland, Billie Dawn Sampson, Tana Pittman, Amy Rowsell, Megan Manners, Danielle Spearing, Andrea White, Brittany Patey, Andrew Rowsell (coach); (middle) Caleigh Ivany, Kaely Marques, Laura Baikie, Ally Acreman, Hannah Kennedy, Tiffany Parsons, Sidney Goudie; (front, on ground): Brittany Baldwin, Breanna Wall.
By DWAYNE CHIASSON
Special to The Labradorian
The Mealy Mountain Collegiate (MMC) Hawks pulled some smooth tricks over the Menihek Magic from Labrador City on Oct.19, to win their second consecutive gold medal in the Girls 3A provincial soccer championships.
The Hawks won the title in front of an enthusiastic hometown crowd with a 3-2 win over their rivals.
The tournament took place at MMMC field Oct. 18-19 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
MMC, Labrador City and the Clarenville Cougars took part in the event, with the Clarenville team having won the right to represent the island portion of the province after their own regional playdowns.
The games started Friday evening in a round-robin affair, with Clarenville losing both their games against MMC and Labrador City. In a preview of the finals, it was MMC and Labrador City in a tie game of 3-3 in their first match up of the tournament.
With Mealy Mountain having a better record, they received a bye into the championship game, leaving Clarenville and Labrador City battling it out to advance to the finals. In the end, Menihek showed their magic to get through to the finals against their MMC rivals.
The championship game started at 2 p.m. on Saturday a rain-soaked pitch and cold winds blowing. But this didn't stopped both teams from hustling and putting their bodies through torturous conditions to win it all for their respective schools.
In front of a crowd of about 150 people — both supporting MMC and Menihek — Menihek scored first, but it was the cries of “Giggy, Giggy, Giggy, Goose Goose Goose!” that inspired MMC’s Andrea White to their first goal. This seemed to give MMC momentum, with both teams going back and forth, but once again, it was Menihek with a goal to take the lead in the game and all looked bleak for MMC.
But, as the clock ran down, a heroic goal from Sidney Goudie — off a Caleigh Ivany rebound — made it's way through the keeper’s legs to put the game at an even 2-2.
It seemed this game would end up into overtime and possibly even penalty kicks the way both teams were generating offensive chances and great goal keeping from both sides. With time in regular play over, there was just a few minutes of added time from the referee for stoppage when the miraculous happened — an unstoppable Amy Rowsell made her way down the right side of the field, beating her defender and placed a bullet of a shot past the Labrador City keeper to give her team the lead and eventually, their second provincial banner in two years.
“This was a very rewarding and positive weekend for all involved,” said MMC coach Edmund Turpin.
“A game like this is a great opportunity to showcase our school and some of the talented, hard working athletes that attend MMC.”
Even though they never made the championship game, Clarenville coach Nicole Cleal was still impressed with the overall weekend.
“Even though we lost all three of our games, the girls did get off to a rough start but played very well in their final game — they were simply outmatched,” she said.
“Even though this may be the last time her girls plays together with seven of them graduating this year, Coach Cleal wanted to thank all the parents who have been very supportive over the past number of years.
“Without their support, we would not have been able to come this far with our team.”
Coach Turpin — proud as he is with this victory — did not want to celebrate too long, however.
“This is a great win for both our school and community, but volleyball and cross country running will now be our focus.”
Soccer super fan — and soccer mom to Sydney, Anna Goudie — was impressed with the girls.
“I have to commend the older four girls who are graduating, they were so great to the younger girls, showing leadership and camaraderie…you don't always get that with such as a wide age group. It was nice to see.”