Shelby Dorman Banks (left) of the Cedar Hurricanes gets a foot on the ball Oct. 22 against Gabriola.

Ladysmith and Cedar vie for top spot

Ladysmith 49ers tied with Cedar Hurricanes for first place in U15 girls soccer league

Two local Under-15 girls’ soccer teams wearing the blue uniforms of the Mid-Isle Soccer Association have something else in common besides the colour of their jerseys.

Five weeks into the season, both teams are undefeated, and both are at the top of the division.

The Mid-Isle 49ers, of Ladysmith, started their 2011-2012 campaign with four straight wins in which they scored 18 total goals while surrendering none. While their most recent game ended in a 1-1 draw, their impressive start has nevertheless put them at the top of the  nine team league.

49ers coach John Battie is happy with the wins, of course, but he feels that it’s the team’s goals against record that shows how hard they’ve been working.

“To not give up a goal until our fifth game, I think it really shows that we’re playing disciplined, fundamentally sound soccer”, said Battie. “But it’s a long season – I just hope we can keep our focus.”

Battling the 49ers for top spot for the rest of the season are the Mid-Isle Hurricanes, of Cedar, who have also started their season with five straight wins. And like the 49ers, they did it by severely outscoring their opponents, by 15 goals to 1. The most impressive statistic, however, is the fact that the Hurricanes won those games without a full 11 players on the field.

“I only have 15 players on my roster to start with”, said Hurricanes coach Sandra Dick, “and because we have several two-sport athletes who have had to divide their time between soccer and volleyball, we’ve had to play our last few games with only nine or 10 players on the field”.

Dick had better hope that volleyball season ends soon – thanks to a 5-0 win against Gabriola on Oct. 22, the Hurricans are now tied with the 49ers for first place in the league and are scheduled for what promises to be a very exciting head-to-head matchup  on Oct. 29 at Ladysmith Secondary. But who gets to wear the blue Mid-Isle jerseys?

“I guess we’ll flip a coin at the start of the game,” said Battie.


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