Despite missing several key players and having to adjust to a very late schedule, the Nepean Hotspurs GU16 L3 Inferno worked some magic this past weekend at the 15th edition of the ARS Laval National BMO tournament in Laval Quebec.
Entering into the tournament against previous ARS Laval National BMO tournament champions from last year the BRAVES D’AHUNTSIC, the OYSL Cumberland Cobras, WOS L3 and other very talented Quebec teams, the girls had their work cut out for them.
Our first game at 8:40pm on Saturday night paired us against the OYSL team from Cumberland Cobras. In a fast paced critical match-up, the GU16 NHS Inferno managed to not only prevent their opponents from scoring a single goal but also managed to award themselves with two perfectly placed strikes for a 2-0 win. A great start indeed.
Our second game at 11:20pm proved to be a difficult match for the girls as fatigue quickly set in and despite out-shooting the Delta Tornades (16 to 6) and maintaining the lion’s share of possession; we fell short to a last minute goal to our opponents. Not accustomed to playing so late in the day proved to be the true deciding factor.
An early morning start on Sunday did not allow the girls much chance to re-cooperate from the day before and again despite out-shooting, outperforming and maintaining possession, the Inferno fell behind early.
Despite the fatigue, obstacles and distractions, the girls managed to keep one of the best +/- of the group and made the semi-finals. Fate set us on a crash course back with the OYSL group Cumberland Cobras.
The semi-final game presented itself with a unique opportunity. Being the ONLY team in the tournament to score against them, and being the ONLY team in the tournament to shut them out, the NHS GU16 L3 Inferno set out to repeat the feat against the OYSL team from Cumberland.
The game was a very fast paced, aggressive and hair pulling affair. From the starting whistle the Inferno set the tone and managed 4 shots on net before Cumberland had a chance to gain possession. Solid goal tending from Cumberland kept the team in the thick of things early. Scoring on a broken play, the OYSL Cumberland Cobras took a 1-0 lead. Showing resilience, commitment, a little bit of magic and creativity, the Inferno quickly fired back 42 seconds later with a 1-1 draw. That draw lasted almost the entire match and until the final 8 minutes of the game, it looked as if the Inferno were to repeat and come out as champions. Pressing 100% of the time and not leaving anything left in the tank, once again, fatigue, injury and the relentless counter attack of the OYSL Cumberland Cobras proved to much and the Inferno fell short of its goal.
Despite not winning a medal or hoisting a trophy, the GU16 NHS Inferno represented the club, its members, the coaches and themselves with dignity, and passion for the sport while still placing 3rd overall this past weekend. They are also the ONLY team to score against the OYSL team and the ONLY team to shut them out all tournament. Not an easy feat as the OYSL team beat the other opponents 6-0, 6-0 and 5-0.
Being part of a brand new program, under the guidance of head coach Robert Peixoto and assistant coach Gus de la Fuente, the girls have quickly adapted and are really making a name for themselves. Focused now on the playoffs in the Coliseum league and then on to tryouts in March, the NHS GU16 L3 Inferno look to reach new goals for the 2015 season.
“Big things are on the horizon for this group of talented and dedicated players.” Says head coach Robert Peixoto. “With showcase tournaments and other huge endeavours on the agenda for this summer, this group will be a statement to how not only the game should be played, but on who should be playing it.” Talented, dedicated, driven, respectful players with a passion to succeed. That is the credo of this team.
Congrats to the Inferno!! You have made your coaches, parents and club very proud.
-Team Head Coach Rob Peixoto