St. Clair College soccer being played this season at the Libro Centre



By Ron Giofu


With a new sports complex being built for St. Clair College athletics, its soccer program has once again found a temporary home.

And, once again, as it did a few years ago, the Saints will be calling that new, temporary home Amherstburg.

All men’s and women’s soccer games will be played this season at the Libro Centre. The teams play doubleheaders every game day with women’s games starting first, followed by the men’s games two hours later.

The St. Clair Saints women’s and men’s soccer teams will be calling the Libro Centre home this season. (Special to the RTT)

Jay Shewfelt, athletic coordinator at St. Clair College, said a 1,500-seat soccer stadium is part of the plans for the new sports complex with construction on that to start soon.

“We planned to play off-campus all along,” said Shewfelt.

Shewfelt noted that the Saints played here several years ago when their field at the college was in rough shape while the OCAA women’s provincial championship was in Amherstburg in 2016. While they considered other facilities to hold their home games in 2018, Shewfelt said it was an easy choice to come back to the Libro Centre.

“It’s a beautiful facility. We love it,” he said.  “The staff and the town treat us great. When it came down to it, it’s an easy decision for us to make.”

The first regular season home games are Tuesday evening against Fanshawe (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.), with the remainder of the home schedule sees Niagara come to the Libro Centre Saturday with the women’s game at 2 p.m. and the men’s game at 4 p.m.

Redeemer comes to town Sept. 29 with the women’s game at 2 p.m. and the men’s game at 4 p.m. Lambton plays St. Clair Oct. 4 with the women starting at 5 p.m. and the men at 7 p.m.

St. Clair hosts Mohawk at the Libro Centre Oct. 12 with the women at 5 p.m. and the men at 7 p.m.

A full schedule is at


Dillon Hayes of Amherstburg plays on the St. Clair Saints men’s soccer team.

Dillon Hayes of Amherstburg plays on the men’s team.

Shewfelt said there is the possibility of a sixth home game for the soccer teams depending on where they finish and what the playoff schedule looks like. He added that St. Clair College has reached out to the Amherstburg Soccer Club to invite them to the games, with the general public also welcome to attend.

“All of our games are free admission,” said Shewfelt.

Amherstburg Soccer Club hosts ECSL soccer festival



By Ron Giofu


The fields at Larry Bauer Park were busy on the weekend as the Amherstburg Soccer Club hosted players, coaches and parents from around the area.

“This is our annual festival we are hosting for the ECSL (Essex County Soccer League,” explained Amherstburg Soccer Club (ASC) president Terry Sawchuk. “This year we had 48 teams between U8, U9 and U10. That is phenomenal. Soccer keeps growing.”

The ASC’s travel program, the Amherstburg Fusion, fielded three teams with the U9 team playing Saturday and the U8 team and the U10 team taking the pitch Sunday. Teams from across Windsor-Essex turned out as well to Larry Bauer Park, located in front of the Libro Centre. Games went off rain or shine.

Sawchuk was thrilled with not only the overall turnout, but the amount of girls that participated.

“I love to see more girls playing,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s boys or girls, it a game anyone can play.”

The Amherstburg Fusion U10 team (white jersey) competed in the rain Sunday morning against Belle River in ECSL soccer festival action at Larry Bauer Park.

The Amherstburg Fusion program has roughly 150 players overall while the co-ed house league program has just over 400. There are about 40 players in the girls-only house league division. That brings overall ASC membership to around the 600 mark, with Sawchuk stating it is the largest youth sports organization in Amherstburg.

With the World Cup being this year, Sawchuk added it always translates into increased interest in the sport locally.

ECSL festivals take place across the county from around early-May to the end of August, said Sawchuk. He added that Fusion teams are also hitting the road for tournaments, including a large one in Sarnia in mid-July.

Sawchuk thanked the volunteers for helping to present the weekend tournament and also thanked the Town of Amherstburg. Town staff helped prepare the soccer pitches once they were finally able to get onto the fields after a lot of rain earlier this year.

“Obviously, it’s a partnership with the town to make them look this way,” said Sawchuk.

Coaches and parents also praised the ASC, noting that games went off on time and the fields were well prepared.

Girls soccer team bows out of WECSSAA playoffs



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens soccer team suffered its first loss of the season last Tuesday afternoon, but it was enough to end their season.

The Lady Gens dropped a 2-0 decision to the Sandwich Sabres with Sandwich scoring a goal in each of the two halves to obtain the win in the WECSSAA “AA” quarterfinal game. The Lady Gens had gone undefeated (6-0-2) in the Tier 3 regular season and beat Essex in their first playoff game.

Despite the loss, the General Amherst coaches were still pleased with how the team played and the effort they showed.

“We have ended still on a high note even though it was a defeat,” said coach Mark Sweet.

Sweet believed the Lady Gens put forth a good effort and hung in with Sandwich, who played in Tier 1 during the regular season.

“(Sandwich) had to work for what they got,” he said.

General Amherst goalkeeper Delilah Brouwer boots the ball away from her goal during their May 15 game against Sandwich.

Vanessa Pidutti, one of the Lady Gens’ captains, also thought they played well and hung tough against Sandwich.

Pidutti added the Lady Gens got better as the 2018 season went on.

“Everyone worked hard this whole season,” she said. “You could see the improvement with everyone.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens girls soccer team gathers for a group photo after their game May 15 in LaSalle.

The team loses three players to graduation but Pidutti was optimistic for next year, stating she is looking forward to it.

“I feel most of the team coming back is going to help us have a much better season,” she added.

Pidutti said they will also be losing their coach as Sweet and his family are moving back to England.

For additional photos from the May 15 game, view our Facebook album.

Lady Gens win one, tie one in opening week of girls soccer season



By Ron Giofu


The first week of the WECSSAA Tier 3 girls soccer season is in the books and General Amherst remains undefeated.

The Lady Gens opened the season April 10 at the Libro Centre with a 1-0 victory over Walkerville. Vanessa Pidutti scored the lone goal for General Amherst with Delilah Brouwer picking up the shutout in goal.

General Amherst hosted first place Cardinal Carter last Wednesday afternoon and while things started well for the Lady Gens, they had to settle for a tie. A first half goal and a goal early in the second half – both scored by Morgan Queen – put the Lady Gens up 2-0 but Brianna Zakaria and Abby DiLaudo scored later in the second half for Cardinal Carter and the game ended 2-2.

General Amherst coach Mark Sweet said the Lady Gens played well and he was happy with effort, although a bit disappointed with the outcome.

“It feels like a loss, but I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Sweet. “The other team wanted it more in the second half.”

Vanessa Pidutti (left) battles for the ball April 12 against Cardinal Carter.

“We’re really happy with the team,” added assistant coach Lisa Voakes. “We outplayed (the opposition) both games.”

Sweet added that the Lady Gens gave it all they had and managed to hold a strong Cardinal Carter team to a tie.

There are new faces on this year’s General Amherst girls team and Sweet pointed out they are playing a different formation this season. The new formation is due to the new personnel, but it also gives more players an opportunity to get playing time, he said.

Voakes called this year’s squad “a great, well-rounded team” and one of the best girls teams General Amherst has had for a number of years. Sweet noted that Amherstburg develops a lot of quality athletes.

General Amherst was at home Tuesday against the Kingsville Cavaliers, after the April 18 edition of the RTT went to press. The Lady Gens are in Essex Thursday for a 4 p.m. game against the Red Raiders.

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.