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HIGH ACHIEVERS WEEKEND WRAP: Gloucester Celtic FC captures second Canadian men’s amateur soccer title

By Martin Cleary

That’s one Canadian soccer championship down and one more, possibly, to come by the end of the month.

Gloucester Celtic FC went undefeated in four games over five days to secure its second men’s Challenge Trophy in 10 years at the Toyota National Championships in Vaughan, ON.

Meanwhile, Atlético Ottawa concluded its Canadian Premier League regular season (13 wins, five losses, 10 draws) with its initial first-place pennant. Atlético will begin its hunt for the playoff championship on Saturday with the first of two semi-final games against Pacific Trident in Victoria.

Celtic, which won its first national men’s soccer title in 2013 in Halifax, defeated Edmonton Green and Gold 2-0 in Monday’s championship final.

Centre midfielder Kieran Sanders and striker Andrew Bryan shared the goal scoring for the Celtic. Wing player Bezick Evraire was selected the most valuable player of the nine-club championship.

In the round robin, Celtic shut out Winsloe-Charlottetown Royal FC 4-0, tied Holy Cross FC of St. John’s 1-1 and defeated Halifax Dunbrack SC 3-1.

The Celtic qualified for the national championship, which serves as the country’s top amateur competition, by defeating Caledon United FC 3-1 last month in the summer-long, provincial championship.

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Playing in the Ottawa-Carleton Soccer League, the Celtic missed its eighth men’s premier league title by two points, finishing second to West Ottawa SC.

Atlético Ottawa received goals from former Ottawa Fury defender Maxim Tissot of Gatineau and attacker Brian Wright for a 2-0 halftime lead against York United at TD Place, but the visitors rallied for a 2-2 draw.

When Cavalry blanked Pacific 1-0 on Saturday, Atlético clinched first place and its first playoff appearance in the CPL without having to worry about the outcome of its game against York United.

The second game of the two-leg semifinal will be Oct. 23 at TD Place. The league final is Oct. 29. If Ottawa wins its semifinal, the championship game will be decided at TD Place.

And to top it all off, Ottawa’s Clarissa Larisey scored her first international goal for the Canadian senior women’s soccer team in their Monday friendly with Morocco in Spain. In her third appearance for Canada, the 23-year-old Ottawa South United product came on as a substitute midway through the second half and scored Canada’s final goal of the 4-0 match.


The Canadian women’s rugby team started its campaign at the Rugby World Cup on the right foot, with a 41-5 victory over Japan on Sunday.

University of Ottawa Gee-Gees’ Maddy Grant played the full match for Canada, and Barrhaven Scottish product Alexandria Ellis came on as a substitute in the 50th minute.

Ottawa Irish product Pam Buisa, who competed at the recent Rugby Sevens World Cup as well as last summer’s Olympics, also joined Canada’s roster at the last moment in place of an injured player.

The third-ranked Canadians will face Italy on Oct. 16 and USA on Oct. 23 to finish play in their four-team pool. The top eight of 12 participating teams will then advance to the quarter-finals of the Oct. 8-Nov. 12 event in New Zealand.


Four Ottawa teams were striving for another kind of football title at the Mary Brown’s Canadian touch football championships in Markham, ON.

The Ottawa Football Team won its men’s Tier 2 pool with a round-robin record of 4-0, but it struggled in its various playoff games.

Ottawa fell 25-21 to the GTA Cobras in the class BB quarterfinal, lost 30-0 to Montreal Hitmen in the B quarterfinal, but defeated Mississauga Canes 33-19 in the B semifinal. The B final saw Ottawa lose 20-6 to the Toronto Ruff Ryderz, after defeating the Ryderz 20-13 in the round robin. Ottawa tied for third place overall at 4-3 in the standings with three other teams.

After winning their round-robin pool at 3-0, Ottawa Piranhas defeated Oshawa Hounds 13-0 in the men’s Tier 1 class AA quarterfinals. But the Piranhas national championship dream ended with a 34-27 loss to Toronto EBO and they finished in a two-way tie for fourth overall at 4-1.

Ottawa Seminoles were the top-ranked team in men’s Tier 2, but placed second in their round-robin pool at 2-1. In the playoffs, the Seminoles lost to No. 2 Markham Mustangs 29-28 in the class BB quarterfinals, and Hamilton Bandits 23-22 in the B quarterfinals. The Seminoles tied for ninth overall at 2-3.

Ottawa Hitmen dropped five consecutive games in men’s Tier 2 action, including playoff losses to Toronto Generals, 21-7, in the class B quarterfinals, and Toronto Grey Hounds, 13-6, in the class CC semifinals. The Hitmen placed 16th overall.


Rideau Curling Club’s Emily Deschênes used her momentum from a round-robin pool record of 4-0 to capture three consecutive playoff games and win the Stu Sells Girls’ U21 Tankard in Barrie, ON.

The Deschênes rink of third Adrienne Belliveau, second Emma Artichuk and lead Evelyn Robert defeated Tori Zemmelink of Guelph 8-3 in the final, scoring four points in the fourth end for the decisive blow.

Deschênes scored one in the eighth for a 5-4 semi-final victory over Grace Cave and blanked Logan Shaw 8-0 in her five-end quarterfinal.

Ottawa’s Emma Acres, 3-4, lost the consolation final 8-2 to the Cave rink.

Ava Acres of Ottawa, 3-2, and Katrina Frian, 2-3, were defeated in the quarterfinals of the Stu Sells Girls’ U18 Tankard in Barrie.

Ottawa’s Jayden King registered an impressive seven wins in eight matches over three days to earn the Stu Sells Boys’ U21 Tankard in Barrie. In the final of the four-team, double round robin, King scored one in the first end and stole one in the third, fourth and fifth for a 4-1 victory over Landan Rooney of Whitby.

At the Boost National curling championship in North Bay, Rachel Homan lost 8-4 in the quarterfinals to Kaitlyn Lawes of Winnipeg. Lawes counted three in the first end and broke a 4-4 tie with two in each of the sixth and seventh ends to end the playoff early after seven ends.


Kieran McDaniel captured the men’s title at the Ottawa Fall Colours Marathon in two hours, 53 minutes, 41 seconds. He competed in the men’s 16-17 age group.

Duncan Robinson was second in 2:55.31, while Matthew Stacey was third in 3:08:03.

The top three women finished in the top-10 overall. Hope Wilson was the women’s champion (seventh overall) in 3:29:20 and was followed by Veronique Prince, ninth overall, in 3:39:57; and Jessica Seck, 10th overall, in 3:40:11.

The respective men’s and women’s half-marathon champions were Joshua Karanja, 1:12:12, and Robyn Hardage, 1:26:32.

At the Royal Victoria Marathon, former Nepean runner Bruce Deacon had reason to smile, but this time as a coach with Prairie Inn Harriers Club.

The two-time Olympic marathoner watched his athlete, 41-year-old Teferi Kebede Balcha, who is an immigrant from Ethiopia, win the race in Victoria in two hours, 25 minutes, 26 seconds. Kebede Balcha finished 4:29 ahead of runner-up Aidan Anderson of North Vancouver.


Queen’s University Gaels emerged as the OUA East Regional baseball champion at RCGT Stadium.

The Gaels, whose roster includes Ottawa players Nicholas Hum and Noah Baldin, defeated the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 14-2 in the final and Carleton University Ravens 10-2 in the semifinals.

Queen’s, the University of Waterloo, University of Guelph and defending champion University of Toronto will play in the OUA championship tournament Friday and Saturday in Waterloo, ON.


Ottawa’s Hayley Yerxa of Georgia Southern University finished fifth in the 54-hole Edisto Island Invitational women’s university golf tournament and helped the Eagles tie for third in the team competition.

Yerxa, the OVGA city and district women’s champion, shot rounds of 75-67-72 for a one-over-par 214. She is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University.

Former Rivermead Golf Club member Julien Sale of Gatineau placed third in the Alps Tour Emilia Romagna Grand Final, which allowed him to finish second overall on the tour’s Order of Merit.

A two-time Alexander of Tunis champion, Sale fired a final round 68 to complete the last event on the Alps Tour with an 11-under-par 205 score in Modena, Italy. Sale, who recently turned professional, had 10 top-10 finishes in his 17 tournaments on the tour and was No. 6 in stroke average at 68.24 for 45 rounds.


Ottawa’s Vicky Savard had a world women’s volleyball championship to remember as she gained plenty of experience in different ways as Canada placed 10th with a 5-4 record and missed the eight-nation quarterfinals by one spot.

Canada advanced to the second round of the championship for the first time in recent national team program history and gained valuable ranking points to move into 14th in the world out of 82 countries.

In the first round, Canada lost its opening two matches by 3-0 scores to Serbia and the United States, but defeated Kazakhstan 3-0, Bulgaria 3-1 and Germany 3-2 for a 3-2 preliminary-round record.

In the second round, Canada turned back Thailand 3-1 for its fourth consecutive win, but lost to Turkey 3-0 and Poland 3-2, before finishing with a 3-2 triumph over Dominican Republic. The worlds were staged in The Netherlands and Poland.

Savard finished the worlds with 13 points based on nine attack points, two block points and two service points.


Gloucester’s Gabriela Dabrowski has been named to the five-player Canadian team for the Billie Jean King Cup finals Nov. 8-13 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Dabrowski, one of the top women’s doubles players in the world, will be joined by Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, ON., Rebecca Marino of Vancouver, and Carol Zhao of Toronto.

Canada will start in Group A with matches against Italy on Nov. 10 and Switzerland on Nov. 11. The group winner advances to the quarterfinals.

At the OUA tennis championships, Ottawa’s Ray Xie won his singles match 6-0, 6-0 to score a valuable point and contribute to the University of Western Mustangs winning the men’s team title 4-3 over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

Western, which defeated the University of Waterloo Warriors 6-1 in the semifinals, has captured the men’s title the last four years and 23 times overall. Ian Brander of Ottawa also played on the Mustangs’ team.


• Ottawa Sooners’ quarterback Owen Cowan, who completed 92 of 172 pass attempts for 1,254 yards and nine touchdowns, has been named the Ontario Football Conference’s outstanding offensive rookie of the year and the league’s quarterback all-star (tie).

• Canada, which is co-captained by Patrice Dagenais of Embrun, ON., lost its opening game 55-53 to Australia at the world wheelchair rugby championship in Vejle, Denmark.

• The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees defeated the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 5-4 in eight innings to finish the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association women’s championship with a 1-3 record at St. Clair College. Earlier, the Gee-Gees lost to Humber College 9-0, the University of Calgary 8-4 and eventual silver medallists the University of Western 1-0. Amber Weese (six hits for 12 at-bats) and Jordanna Hartley (five for 10) were Ottawa’s top hitters.

• University of Ottawa placed second overall to McGill University in the RSEQ’s season-opening swimming meet (1,071 points to 924.67). Ottawa won the men’s point title, while the women’s team was second.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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