Gavin Blunt

Bulldogs fall short in WECSSAA “AA” boys soccer final



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys soccer team got to the WECSSAA “AA” final but fell just short of a league title.

The Essex Red Raiders claimed the Windsor-Essex County championship at the “AA” level with a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs last Thursday evening. The game was played on a neutral field, specifically the turf field at Academie Ste. Cecile private school in south Windsor.

Essex used first half goals from Tyler Zsebok and Jackson Moore to win and take the title. General Amherst advanced to the finals after wins over top ranked schools such as Cardinal Carter and Riverside.

“We had a really hard working game,” said General Amherst head coach Gavin Blunt. “We couldn’t get the bounces we needed. (Essex) got lucky on a couple of bounces at the beginning on their (first) goal. We worked hard. We’re not used to going down two goals so early.”

General Amherst’s Cole Chittle tries to work around an Essex player last Thursday night.

Spencer Petrozzi, one of General Amherst’s assistant coaches, gave credit to the Red Raiders for their effort.

“We were chasing the game from the start,” said Petrozzi. “We never got settled. Essex played well. They deserved to win.”

The Bulldogs advanced to the WECSSAA “AA” final with victories over Cardinal Carter and Riverside. Blunt said those teams played in WECSSAA’s Tier 1 division this past regular season with the Bulldogs being a Tier 2 team.

General Amherst will lose a “good amount” of players either to graduation or players moving out of the area. Blunt said this year’s team was mainly returning players from last year but they will need other players to step up next season as they move into Tier 1 themselves.

“We’ll be playing against the best,” said Blunt.

Blunt added that this year “was a good experience for the boys” but acknowledged after last Thursday’s game that “we didn’t get what we came here for.”

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Bulldogs soccer team closes regular season with loss in Essex



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst boys soccer team didn’t close out the regular season the way they wanted to but are looking to the playoffs.

The Bulldogs (3-3) lost their second straight road game last Wednesday afternoon in Essex by a final score of 1-0. Tyler Zsebok scored a second half goal to give the Red Raiders the victory.

General Amherst head coach Gavin Blunt said the Bulldogs played better than they did two days earlier – a 2-0 loss in Belle River – but it wasn’t enough.

“It was a tough game,” said Blunt. “It was one defensive lapse that they capitalized on. We couldn’t catch a break.”

Cole Zelle of General Amherst (left) battles for the ball during last Wednesday afternoon’s WECSSAA Tier 2 game in Essex. The Red Raiders won 1-0.

Blunt believed the Bulldogs had more scoring chances than Essex did but things didn’t go General Amherst’s way.

“We played well,” said Blunt. “We couldn’t get the ball on our foot properly. (Essex) capitalized on the one chance they had. We played much better today.”

“We were the better team,” added assistant coach Spencer Petrozzi. “We just couldn’t score.”

Petrozzi agreed that the Bulldogs put forth a better effort against Essex as compared to the Belle River game, adding that General Amherst played well defensively against the Red Raiders.

The Bulldogs were the first team to conclude its regular season and now await the playoffs. In the meantime, they are In a tournament this Friday in Tilbury.

“The Tilbury tournament will allow us to practice and get us prepared for the playoffs,” said Blunt.

Bulldogs win one, lose one last week



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys soccer team split a pair of games over the past week.

The Bulldogs dropped to 3-2 on the WECSSAA Tier 2 boys soccer season after a 2-0 loss Monday afternoon in Belle River. It was the first road game of the season for General Amherst, after playing their first four games at the Libro Centre. Devin Ergun and Paul Pillon scored for the Nobles.

The week started for the Bulldogs with the final regular season home game, a 1-0 win over Sandwich in a spirited affair at the Libro Centre.

The competitive game saw Donald LaChance score the only goal of the game, which came in the second half. Griffin Muzzin picked up the win in net for General Amherst.

After that game, played last Wednesday afternoon, Bulldogs head coach Gavin Blunt said it was “a much better result” than the previous Wednesday’s game, a 2-0 loss to L’Essor.

Donald LaChance (left) battles for the ball against Sandwich last Wednesday afternoon.

“(Sandwich) was a good team but we came out today and played hard,” said Blunt.

The Bulldogs executed offensively and played well defensively, also putting forth a better effort than they did against L’Essor.

“We worked a lot harder today,” said Blunt.

“The effort was there today,” assistant coach Spencer Petrozzi added.

Petrozzi believed they may have been overconfident heading into the L’Essor game but a good week of practise got them focused for Sandwich.

Kieron Sweet (left) kicks the ball towards the Sandwich goal during last Wednesday’s 1-0 General Amherst win.

Blunt believes it was an accomplishment for the Bulldogs to beat a top team like Sandwich, though there was some bad blood between the coaches late in the game as Blunt said Amherst was accused of rough play.

“I was fine with our aggressiveness,” said Blunt, with Petrozzi adding “we played within the rules.”

The final regular season game is scheduled for Wednesday in Essex at 4 p.m.

General Amherst boys soccer team now 2-1 after win and loss last week



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs boys soccer team won their first two games of the WECSSAA Tier 2 but stumbled in their third game.

The Bulldogs’ most recent game was a 2-0 loss to L’Essor last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The loss dropped General Amherst’s record to 2-1 on the 2018 soccer season.

“We didn’t play as well as we did the first two games,” stated Bulldogs head coach Gavin Blunt. “We got a wake-up call.”

Blunt said the boys team has the potential to be very good this season, but “two bad lapses” against L’Essor cost them the game.

“I think we’ll bounce back after this one,” he said. “I’m not too concerned.”

This year’s Bulldogs team has a number of Grade 11 and Grade 12 players, Blunt pointed out, and that they are aiming for big things come playoff time. He believes they are one of the best teams in the league with a strong defensive core and fast forwards.

General Amherst’s Michael Nasello (light jersey) goes after a ball against a L’Essor player during senior boys soccer action at the Libro Centre.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t make use of that today,” he said, following last Wednesday’s loss.

Two days earlier, the Bulldogs hammered the visiting Herman Green Griffins by a final score of 8-1. Cole Chittle and Aaron Brush each scored twice for the Bulldogs with other goals being scored by Kieron Sweet, Michael Nasello, Donald Lachance and Nate Lenson.

“It was good execution by the team,” Blunt said, of the 8-1 victory. “If we’re on, we have the potential to put eight goals in the net.”

The team’s first game of the season was a 3-0 win over Westview Freedom Academy April 4. Chittle, Nasello and Colle Zelle scored in that game with Brendan Lowrie picking up the shutout.

The next game for the Bulldogs is Wednesday at home against the Sandwich Sabres. That is also their final home game of the regular season, with the final two games being on the road. General Amherst plays at Belle River April 23 and in Essex April 25. All upcoming games are scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

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.