An example of what to expect from this weekend's high school soccer provincials in Saskatoon over the weekend, as St. Mary and Carlton players, both in contention for the ball, battled it out in an early-October match. Herald photo by Gary Pearson
--PRINCE ALBERT-On the boys’ side of the soccer equation, Carlton and St. Mary travel to Saskatoon for provincials, which also kicks off on Friday morning.
St. Mary bettered Carlton in both previous meetings – 3-0 and 2-0 – granting the Marauders a higher seed for provincials.
“We are feeling confident, we don’t know what we will see,” Marauders head coach Danny Earl, said. “There is always strong competition from Regina and Saskatoon.”
St. Mary opens its account on Friday morning versus Regina Campbell, whose squad obtained the second seeding for provincials. Eighth-seeded Carlton, on the other hand, has the unenviable task of trying to upset Saskatchewan’s top seed, Regina LeBoldus.
“This is where we want to peak,” said Crusaders head coach Mark Odnokon. “When we get there we are playing some pretty high-end players, and the teams that are in the top four, the two Regina and the two Saskatoon teams, they are usually very polished.”
Odnokon said his squad, however, fears no team and will draw upon previous provincial experiences to try upset the favoured Regina outfit. Three narrow defeats in previous years at provincials have Carlton Comprehensive chomping at the chance to knock Leboldus off their perch.
“We haven’t been intimidated against these teams. We have just gone out and we compete hard,” he said. “We always go in their believing we can – I believe we can again this year.”
The Marauders take to the pitch on Friday versus last season’s bronze medalist, Regina Campbell in a 9 a.m. fixture. Earl said his team is unconcerned about the prospect of facing Campbell, the higher seeds.
“The guys are positive, they are confident, they are not really the type to get too worked up over competition they haven’t seen before,” said Earl. “We don’t really worry about that too much because we still have to beat everybody to win.”
The Crusaders, in their quest for provincial prominence, play at 11 a.m. on Friday versus Regina Leboldus. Saskatoon St. Joseph, Weyburn, Swift Current and Saskatoon’s Holy Cross comprise the rest of teams vying for glory.