NLSA Molson Challenge Cup

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Challenge Cup Soccer - Weekend Wrap-up

Friends and Family at KGV 
Sunday, August 14, 2016 


St. Lawrence

The Laurentians on Saturday defeated CBS  the  league last place team by a 4-0 score. The highlight of the contest was this Challenge Cup match was played in Paradise. Paradise is another area of the province which has a lot of growing potential. While on the field , it was  Stefan Slaney picking up 2 goals which would allow him to move into first place in the goal-scoring department. His two goals gave him 19  on the season
Sunday's match against Feildians 
aansThings went a little different for the Laurentians on Sunday. The Laurentians were up against the Feildians. The Feildians have a good crop of youth on their side, they are very well coached and I consider them the most improved team in the league in 2016. Bringing home Emmanuel Dolo in August have improved this team immensely. This young man is a specimen of speed, grit and skill on the field. I simply love his soccer ability. He is by far the best striker in the province. Meanwhile on Sunday the Laurentians were far from their best at KGV when they took on the Feildians. For whatever reason the Laurentians came out flat and I mean FLAT. They lacked intensity or the slightest sign of emotion of a team looking to finish in 2nd place. Maybe, the fact that the Laurentians have brought back three old faces to the squad this late in the season has upset the teams chemistry. The Laurentians had looked great early in the season. The team showed promise and the fitness program the Laurentians had worked on in 2016, under the watchful eye of physiotherapist Robert Kelland,  was showing huge dividents. The SLS-Association and the team had realized that in 2016 in order to compete the Laurentians would require a higher level of fitness. Fitness was something the team had lacked over the last number of years.  For most part the score-sheet and league stats earlier had showed the Laurentians were positioned to be in the 1 - 2 contest come Labor Day weekend. This is something the league has adopted where the 1st and 2nd place team are given a second life come play-off time. When the final whistle blew on Sunday, this no longer looks like the case for the Laurentians. The Laurentians had not only lost by a 1-0 score, they lost their number one goalie John Douglas. John went down late in the game with an injury which seems to be a serious when he was taken out of the game. This particular loss leaves the Laurentians in third place, five points behind the second place Mount Pearl  team . The Laurentians have two games left against Corner Brook and Mount Pearl has two left against the first place Holy Cross team.


Holy Cross

 Not surprising Holy Cross have clinched 1st place in the Molson Challenge Cup League for the 8th consecutive season. On Saturday Holy Cross defeated Corner Brook by a 1-0 score. Certainly, not a decisive victory but a win that gave Holy Cross all they wanted which was the Bobby Breen Memorial Trophy. This Memorial Trophy which was named after Holy Cross's Bobby Breen . Breen was one of the five Holy Cross Breen brothers that stared with holy Cross in the 70 and 80"s. This NLSA Award  goes to the 1st place club in the overall regular season standings.  
On Sunday the Holy Cross team salvaged a 1-1 tie with Corner Brook. Not a big deal for Holy Cross but definitely a great moral victory for Corner Brook. Corner Brook themselves have improved and are starting to show promise. To start with the club are at a level that they are competing and battling the top four. They too have youth on their side and have a promising striker in rookie, Logan McIssaac.
Holy Cross's last two matches
This now brings us to Holy Cross's last two matches of the season. Holy Cross's last two games are against Mount Pearl. The results of these two games could be critical to the overall standings. The question now is, "Will Holy Cross be out to defeat this Mount Pearl team or will they simply want to play the Mount Pearl team on Labor Day Weekend rather than to have and play the Laurentians on home soil in a 1 vs2 match?  Well there is no doubt in my mind you will see the star players on the Cross team will be sitting , especially those who have wounds to lick. While there are other who will be sitting for card reasons. Any good strategical coach would do this and Jake Stanford has positioned his team very nicely to be able to sit star players.  However, Holy Cross's roster are 30 players deep , they have the deepest bench in the league. I'm saying from knowing the inner workings of Jake Stanford and the Holy Cross organization if you can get out and watch their last two matches they will be entertaining to say the least. I'm saying and thinking you won't see any freebees here. 


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