By Dan Plouffe
Gloucester 4 Cataraqui 1
The Gloucester Hornets under-14 girls may now be in the market for bigger trophy shelves as they capped off their soccer season by winning some more hardware in a year where they’d already won plenty.
Fresh off a silver medal at the Kickin’ in the Capital tournament, the Hornets now own another gold to match the one they earned at their own Gloucester International Soccer Tournament thanks to their 4-1 victory over Cataraqui in the East Region Cup championship game on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Ben Franklin Park.
“It was a really great season,” says Hornets coach George Papandreau, identifying team camaraderie as the biggest factor in his group’s success. “The girls supported each other and came to every practice – even if they were injured. To me, that shows that they’re really having a good time and enjoying themselves.”
In the final, Gloucester got goals from their top-two scorers in both league and Cup play, Megan Foy and Alyssa Baker, along with Thea Nour and Kelsey Ellis.
“We’re super happy,” smiles Hornets captain Pascale Patenaude, identifying hard work and putting in an honest effort as the relatively simple recipe to the team’s success. “I’m proud of my team.”
Patenaude adds that “really fun” teammates made for an enjoyable atmosphere with the Hornets, but there’s also a strategic advantage to having a group that gets along well, Papandreau believes.
“The key was to build the environment,” he shares. “The environment was very positive, the girls made friendships, and once you have that, the team and the talent can flourish.”
The Hornets missed out on winning this season’s East Region Soccer League U14 division title by just one point, behind the Ottawa Internationals. Belleville was Gloucester’s main nemesis – accounting for the team’s only two defeats – but the Hornets avenged both results by knocking the Internationals out of the first round of Cup play in a 2-0 contest, and then posting a big 4-1 over Belleville in the semi-finals.
That set up the match with Kingston’s Cataraqui club in the final, where even the coach was left dazzled by the quality of several of his players’ curling strikes that would wind up just inside the goalpost.
“We had a couple of glory goals from some very talented strikers,” Papandreau highlights. “We’re very happy. We were really aiming for this and believed we could win it.”
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