Golden weekend for East Hants U-18 boys, girls soccer teams

The East Hants U-18 boys, provincial champs.

LANTZ: It was a big weekend for East Hants Soccer on Aug 26-28 in Lantz.

The Under-18 boys and girls clubs hosted the Soccer Nova Scotia provincial championship at the East Hants Sportsplex Fieldhouse dome in Lantz.

In both tournaments, it took penalty kicks to decide the provincial champion – with both East Hants squads winning after the five player penalty kicks were completed.

Rob Thomas is president of East Hants Soccer. He called the gold medal wins by the two teams a huge accomplishment, especially against larger teams in neighbouring HRM.

“As a relatively smaller club, going against the bigger clubs of the city, it really speaks to the level of effort and commitment that these players and coaches put in,” said Thomas.

He said many of these players have been playing together since the Timbits program.

“I strongly feel that is the secret to our success – being a small community, our players have grown up together, beyond just the soccer pitch, they have been together in classrooms and worksites, they’ve seen each other through the trials and tribulations that teenagers face, and have created long lasting bonds,” he said. “Those bonds were definitely evident on the soccer pitch this past weekend as both teams displayed the teamwork that makes champions.”

EHSC U-18 boys with team staff in picture.

In the boys tournament, East Hants advanced to the final with a 5-0 shutout of UDFC (Dartmouth). In the final, they faced Suburban.

East Hants trailed 1-0 against Suburban until half-time. After they hit the field for the second half, East Hants scored back-to-back goals to take a 2-1 lead until late in the game when the opposition equalized the game.

In the five-player penalty shootout, it was East Hants getting the winning goal required to capture gold.

Camden Gilby was in net for the shootout and made a great stop for East Hants to seal the deal and win gold for the hosts.

For the U-18 girls, it was almost the same scenario as they defeated PLSC 4-1 in their lone round robin game to advance to the championship.

PLSC had played earlier in the day against Suburban, beating them 3-1. City faced UDFC (Dartmouth), shutting them out 3-0. City also advanced to the final.

The U-18 East Hants girls, provincial champs

In the final, it took the five-player penalty shootout to decide the winner, with the girls from East Hants prevailing.

Thomas said the teamwork displayed by these teams, is not isolated to just the players, but is prevalent every where in the community.

“To that end, this tournament would not have happened, if not for the dedicated effort of our volunteers,” he said.

He went on to say that less than three weeks before the scheduled start date of the tournament, Soccer Nova Scotia had not found a club to host the U18 Provincial tournament.

“Knowing that this would be the final season for many of these players, a determined group of volunteers stepped up to pull this all together in record time,” said Thomas. “While the individual volunteers are to numerous to name, I would like to send out a special thanks to the Atlantic Superstore – Elmsdale and the East Hants Sportsplex, who provided us with the means to pull this off.”

Thomas said both U15 Boys and Girls team will be participating in provincials this weekend, Sept. 2-4 (again hosted by EHSC and taking place at HERH and Stewiacke Rec).

“We encourage everyone to come out and cheer on our teams next weekend and buy a provincial t-shirt to help support our programs,” he said.