General Amherst ousted by Kennedy in chaotic soccer playoff game



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys soccer team have been eliminated from the WECSSAA “AA” soccer playoffs by the Kennedy Clippers in a game that left a bad taste in the Bulldogs’ mouths.

By the time last Thursday afternoon’s game at the Libro Centre ended, both goalies had been ejected, parents had come onto the field and others ejected, and a dispute over how much time was thought to be left on the clock when the referee blew the final whistle.

General Amherst’s Aaron Brush kicks the ball up the field during last Thursday against Kennedy. Amherst lost 2-1 in the WECSSAA “AA” playoff game.

General Amherst’s Aaron Brush kicks the ball up the field during last Thursday against Kennedy. Amherst lost 2-1 in the WECSSAA “AA” playoff game.

General Amherst coach Gavin Blunt said he didn’t want blame the officiating for the loss but wanted to focus on his own team’s effort.

“I thought we played a hard fought game and we ended up with some tough calls against us,” said Blunt, after the 2-1 loss.

Blunt said there were points where he felt the Bulldogs outplayed Kennedy but couldn’t convert their chances.

“It was a very tough game to coach. It was a tough battle,” said Blunt. “The boys played well.”

Kieron Sweet scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs.

Assistant coach Spencer Petrozzi also said he didn’t want to concentrate on the officiating, and agreed that the Bulldogs played well despite the final score.

“The boys played hard. They battled right to the end,” said Petrozzi. “We’re very proud of the boys. They battled.”

General Amherst's Brock Beaudoin (left) wins a race to the ball but the Bulldogs lost the game 2-1 to Kennedy.

General Amherst’s Brock Beaudoin (left) wins a race to the ball but the Bulldogs lost the game 2-1 to Kennedy.

All of the players are eligible to return next season and they hope the 2018 season will be better. Blunt said the 2017 season was still a good one.

“It was a great season,” he added. “It was an unfortunate way to end an undefeated season in a game like this. It was chaotic and unorganized. There were scrums at times.”

Blunt noted “we played a really good team” and Petrozzi also noted the Bulldogs had their chances.

Bulldogs hit the road for a pair of boys soccer games



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs finished the regular season on the road over the past week.

The first game was Wednesday afternoon at the University of Windsor’s Alumni Field against the Assumption Purple Raiders. Amherst started slow and improved as the game went on but had to settle for a 0-0 tie.

The tie snapped a four-game winning streak for the Bulldogs.

Donald LaChance heads the ball upfield during WECSSAA boys soccer action last Wednesday. General Amherst tied Assumption 0-0.

Donald LaChance heads the ball upfield during WECSSAA boys soccer action last Wednesday. General Amherst tied Assumption 0-0.

Both teams had to contend with poor weather at points, with pouring rain and a lightning delay arising at different moments in the game.

Head coach Gavin Blunt pointed out that the scoreless tie was “not the ideal result” and pointed out they didn’t have a good first half.

“We were looking to win,” said Blunt. “We played down to their level in the first half. In the second half, the boys played well. The boys started running.”

“We got caught watching the ball early on,” added assistant coach

Blunt said the Bulldogs had their chances in the second half.

General Amherst's Michael Nasello sprints towards a loose ball during second half action against Assumpton April 19.

General Amherst’s Michael Nasello (right, yellow jersey) sprints towards a loose ball during second half action against Assumpton April 19.

“We definitely outshot them and out-chanced them,” he said. “We didn’t get the bounces.”

The game was called with about three minutes to play. The referee blew play dead for the second time due to lightning and after a huddle with coaches from both teams, the game ended though some on the Bulldogs wanted to have another 30-minute delay and finish the game.

“In my mind, I still think we’re the best team in the tier,” Blunt said after Wednesday’s game.

The Bulldogs concluded the regular season Monday afternoon with a 6-1 win at Belle River. The win meant General Amherst finished the 2017 WECESSAA Tier 2 regular season with a 5-0-1 record.


OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship runs from today through Saturday at Libro Centre

Special to the RTT

The St. Clair College Department of Athletics is set to host the 2016 Belairdirect OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.

The event will take place at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg today through Saturday. The final eight format will feature the top eight women’s soccer teams in Ontario with the winner advancing to the CCAA Nationals in Montreal.

As host of the event, the St. Clair Saints are automatically entered into the event. The first place team in each of the three divisions also earned automatic entry into the event.

The event will kicked off with the championship awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Ambassador Bridge Wednesday night.

The first day of play will be highlighted with a short opening ceremony prior to St. Clair’s first match at 6 p.m. Thursday. This game will feature pre-game and halftime entertainment by the Diplomats Drum and Bugle Corps.  Members of the Amherstburg Minor Soccer Association will be helping out through the Championship as well.

2016-17 OCAA Soccer

St. Clair finished in second place in the OCAA West Division with a record of seven wins, one loss and two ties. St. Clair is led offensively by Kaitlyn Austin who has scored 14 goals in nine matches.

The Saints will have their work cut out for them in their opening quarterfinal match against the Humber Hawks. Humber is ranked fourth in Ontario and 14th in Canada. The Hawks finished in second place in the Central Division with a record of 7-1-2.

Tickets are $5 for a day pass or $10 for a tournament pass. St. Clair Students and children under 12 are admitted for free.  Tickets will be available at the gate each day. Advance ticket sales will be available at the Sportsplex and Libro Centre. Alcohol and food sales will take place throughout the entire event at the soccer pitch.

All  matches will be live streamed on .

The complete schedule for the Championships is as follows:   Thursday, Oct. 27

9 a.m. – Game 1 Quarterfinal Fanshawe vs. Cambrian

12 p.m. – Game 2 Quarterfinal Algonquin vs. Mohawk

3 p.m. – Game 3 Quarterfinal Seneca vs. St. Lawrence Kingston

6 p.m. – Game 4 Quarterfinal St. Clair vs. Humber

Friday, Oct. 28

9 a.m. – Game 5 Consolation Semi- Final (Loser 1 vs. Loser 2)

12 p.m. – Game 6 Consolation Semi- Final (Loser 3 vs. Loser 4)

3 p.m. – Game 7 SEMI-FINAL (Winner 1 vs. Winner 2)

6 p.m. – Game 8 SEMI- FINAL (Winner 3 vs. Winner 4)

Saturday, Oct. 29

9 a.m. – Game 9 CONSOLATION FINAL (Winner 5 vs. Winner 6)

12 p.m. – Game 10 BRONZE MEDAL MATCH (Loser 7 vs. Loser 8)

3 p.m. – Game 11 GOLD MEDAL MATCH (Winner 7 vs. Winner 8)

OCAA women’s soccer championships coming to Libro Centre Oct. 27-29


Special to the RTT

St. Clair College and the Department of Athletics and Recreation are excited to announce they have been selected to host two OCAA Provincial Championships for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

The Saints will be hosting the women’s soccer and women’s volleyball championships. The women’s soccer championship will take place at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg from Oct. 27-29. This event will feature the top eight teams in the province competing for a spot at the CCAA Nationals in Quebec from Nov. 9-12. The town of Amherstburg is looking forward to hosting the event and has been a huge supporter in the bid process.

As host of the event St. Clair will receive an automatic entry into the championship. The women’s soccer program is coming off their best season in 16 years winning OCAA bronze.  St. Clair finished the regular season with a record of 9-1 and tied for first place in the OCAA West Division. Saint’s head coach Steve Vagnini was very excited to hear the bid had been approved.

“This is one of the best things to happen to women’s soccer at St Clair because we will be hosting the best of the best and the winner gets to go nationals. That’s the level of competition we want to be involved with,” said Vagnini.

StClair athletics
The women’s volleyball Championship will take place at the St. Clair College SportsPlex from Feb. 24-26.  This event will also showcase the top eight teams in the OCAA battling for provincial supremacy to earn a spot at the CCAA Nationals in British Columbia from March 8-11. Similar to soccer the Saints will have a guaranteed spot in this prestigious event. The St. Clair women’s team is coming off of a solid season under first year Head Coach Jimmy El-Turk finishing with a record of 10-8 and tied for 4th place in the OCAA West Division.

The Saints made the playoffs but lost in the first round.
El-Turk was ecstatic when informed St. Clair’s bid was approved. “I could not be more excited for St. Clair to be hosting provincials. I was at the college for the men’s provincial championship and the atmosphere was one of the best I’ve experienced in sport. To have our athletes participate in that type of an environment on our home floor is going to be an amazing experience for them. It will be a great opportunity for us to showcase the college, as well as our volleyball program and what we have to offer.”

St. Clair College has most recently hosted the CCAA Women’s Basketball Nationals this past March and the OCAA men’s volleyball Championships in Feb. 2015.  Both events received rave reviews from all participants, fans, and coaches.


Amherstburg Fusion U14 team finishes fourth at St. Thomas Soccerfest


Special to the RTT

The Amherstburg Fusion U14 girls team played in the St. Thomas Soccerfest recently and came away as a finalist in the silver division, or fourth overall in a field of eight teams.

In their first game, they played a strong team from Byron. The girls started out a bit slow and found themselves down 2-0 after the first 15 minutes.  The girls came back and Nathalie Temesy brought the girls to within one early in the second half. Byron was able to answer with two more goals of their own and the game finished 4-1 in favor of a strong Byron squad.

Angelina Wiggins moves the ball as Brittnee Meloche and two defenders from South End look on in the semi-final. (Submitted photo)

Angelina Wiggins moves the ball as Brittnee Meloche and two defenders from South End look on in the semi-final. (Submitted photo)

The Fusion had several other strong chances to score, as Renee Neuts put one off the cross bar from just inside mid-field and Olivia Aucoin rolled two just wide that would have made it an even score.

In the second game, the girls faced off against a big team from South End.  Amherstburg came roaring out of the gate and dominated play in the first half, but on a free kick from just outside the box South End put a flukey shot past keeper Felicity Bernardes to make it a 1-0 South End lead. Amherstburg continued to push and controlled play throughout the remaining minutes of the first half and into the second. South End managed another tally in the second half on one of their few possessions of the half.  The South End keeper faced a barrage of shots from the Amherstburg squad but Amherstburg could not find the back of the net. The game finished at 2-0 in favor of South End and Amherstburg was seeded last in the silver division with an 0-2 record going into the semi-finals.

Amherstburg faced off against the number one seeded South End squad again in the semi final match the following morning to move on to a final against the winner from the other pool.  Again, Amherstburg controlled much of the play throughout the first half but was having trouble getting one past the South End keeper. South End managed to score first and this was quickly answered by Jayme Cristofaro with a beautiful shot from just out side the 18-yard box that sailed over the South End keeper into the top of the net.

In the second half though still dominating most of the play Amherstburg found themselves down 3-1.

The girls never quit and showed their true determination as they battled back.  Another strong boot from outside from Abby Orchard brought Amherstburg to within one.

The Amherstburg surge continued and minutes later Brittnee Meloche lofted one from the top of the 18-yard box and again sailed it over the goal keeper’s head.  The keeper managed to catch the ball over the goal line and to the dismay of all who were watching, the goal was disallowed.   The girls kept on however and minutes later the Fusion girls tied it up 3-3 with a goal from Angelina Wiggins.

At full time the score was tied 3-3 and into overtime they went.  Two 10 minute halves were to be played.  The Fusion girls continued to show that they were in control and early in the first overtime, they scored to make the game 4-3 in favor of Amherstburg. In the second OT,  Olivia Aucoin scored her second to bring South End to their knees.  The game finished 5-3 for Amherstburg and the girls were on to a berth in the finals against a team from Strathroy.

The final game was a difficult one for the Amherstburg squad.  After playing for two days in the heat the girls found themselves waiting an extra hour to play the final due to delays on the field. The Fusion team never really found their pace and it was evident the mornings game had drained the tank.

The girls fought hard but just didn’t have the get up and go that the more experienced Strathroy team had.  Keeper Felicity Bernardes battled to keep the ball out of the back of the net but Amherstburg finally fell 2-0.

Considering that in their first year together last year the team struggled in the same tournament and left without a win and no goals for, this is a massive improvement.

The girls return to regular league play in the ECSL and look forward to continued success this season.