Perhaps the Greater Sudbury Soccer Club (GSSC) Impact took their role as welcoming tournament hosts a little too far.
Capturing only three of the 12 divisional titles up for grabs, the local club ensured that teams from the likes of Barrie, Sault Ste. Marie, Bradford and Whitby would all head home happy, sporting some shiny new tournament hardware.
Truth be told, if the ultimate goal of any tournament is to attract outstanding competition, then for the most part, the GSSC succeeded.
Half of the championship games were decided by two goals or less, with overtime matches and penalty kicks the order of the day in several Sunday encounters.
The U-10 boys gold-medal game featured an all-Sudbury final between a pair of teams more than just vaguely familiar with one another. Les Voyageurs and Bristol Machine have waged some great battles the past two years and the tournament U-10 championship affair was no different.
Bristol opened the scoring but it was the Voyageurs who fought back, receiving a pair of goals from both Justin Dauphinais and Alexandre Leger in chalking up a 5-2 victory.
Avery Chisholm rounded out the scoring for the francophone crew, while Alessio Capasso and Ethan Matijevich replied in a losing cause. Despite the setback, Bristol midfielder Kendyn Mashinter walked away pleased with the effort of his team against a squad that has lost but once this year.
"We were all over them in the first half, in their face, going after the ball," he said.
A natural runner who covers the pitch with ease, Mashinter has developed a proficient scoring touch over the course of the summer, one which he approaches with a purpose.
"When I go in, I usually shoot low and hard to a corner," he said. "It's fast and it's really hard for the goalie to dive to stop it."
In addition to the U-10 showdown, the local gold medal winners came courtesy of the young ladies, as the Impact U-14 and U-15 girls both walked away with championship banners.
The U-14 squad received a pair of goals from Karly Hellstrom, another from Sara Cholewinsky and a shutout weekend from Josée Scott, downing South Simcoe United 3-0 in the final.
"As a team, we moved the ball a lot," interior defender Alyssa Charsley said. "We played together better than usual."
In fact, the Impact outscored their opponents 19-0, cruising through five consecutive victories.
"We really supported each other well through the back line, not allowing anything to get through," Charsley continued. "We're working together better than we did last year because we're more used to each other."
Almost equally as dominant, the Impact U-15 girls also did not surrender a goal against in tournament play, posting a 7-0 whitewash over the Barrie Spirit in the championship affair.
Enjoying a great deal of success in Central Girls Soccer League regular season play, the locals looked to work on very specific aspects of the game while also taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy tournament play at home.
"We wanted the wingers to get wide, get some practice at sending it through so we could distinguish between our top target and the two wingers," outside fullback Kaitlin Houben said.
Riley McEwen paced Sudbury with a hat trick, with Megan Coutu, Brianne Rodrigue, Mia Pandolfo and Esther Moreau scoring one goal apiece. Coutu, Oliviah Hamilton and McEwen, for one half, combined as keepers in maintaining a clean slate on the last line of defence.
With coaches Renee Jacques and Dayna Corelli at the helm, the U-15 ladies are benefiting from the knowledge of a young tandem still active within the university ranks, something the teenage girls appear to appreciate.
"Because they're girls as well, they know a lot about us," Houben said. "We just really seem to bond with the coaches. It's really good."
Posted by Laurel Myers