By John DeCoste
Both the Valley United men’s and women’s senior soccer teams ended up provincial runners-up as the NSSL Premiership Division playoffs, which concluded this past week.
The Valley Kings Arms men’s team dropped a 2-0 decision to Halifax City in the men’s provincial final Aug. 21 in Halifax.
It was the sixth provincial senior men’s title in eight years for Halifax City, which finished a close second behind Kings Arms in the regular season standings.
After a scoreless first half, Jamie Tibbo got City on the board in the 64th minute. Jonathan Hammond rounded out the scoring in the 88th minute. Graham Little recorded the shutout.
Kings Arms had advanced to the final with a 1-0 win over Dunbrack Aug. 18. Devin Tetlow had the game’s only goal, while Andrew MacRae saved a penalty shot in the 92nd minute to preserve his shutout.
Halifax City advanced to the men’s final with a 3-1 win over Dartmouth United.
The Valley women also made it to the provincial final, only to drop a 1-0 decision to Suburban FC on a goal by Danielle MacDonald in the 89th minute of play. Sami-Jo Bell earned the shutout.
The Valley women, second-place finishers in the regular season, met first-place Dunbrack in the 1-2 semifinal Aug. 17 and prevailed 1-0 in a game that took nine penalty kicks to decide. Carrie Wood had the shutout for Valley.
Suburban doubled Halifax City 4-2 in the other semifinal.
The Valley U-18 girls did the senior teams one better, capturing the provincial Tier 1 title with a 2-1 win over Cape Breton Aug. 19 in Bridgewater. Kinsella Noseworthy-Smith and Jessica Shaffelburg had the Valley goals.
Valley United advanced to the final with a 1-0 win over top-ranked South Shore, the provincial tournament host. Noseworthy-Smith had the game’s only goal, and Vanessa Robertson earned the shutout.
The gold medal was the third in the past six months for the U-18 girls, who also captured the indoor championship this past spring, then won their division at the 25th annual Gunn Baldursson Memorial tournament.
The U-18 boys, second-place finishers in the regular season, were eliminated from further competition with a 4-2 loss to Dunbrack Aug. 18 in Halifax. Calum MacRae and Bret Rushton had the Valley goals.
Meanwhile, the U-14 and U-16 seasons continued on the Aug. 18-19 weekend, with two of the Valley U-14 teams still in the playoff hunt.
The U-14A girls remained third in the standings with a 6-1-5 record following two wins and a draw. Valley played Suburban to a 2-2 tie Aug. 17, with Mariah Carey and Serena Dolan scoring the Valley goals.
The girls then edged South Shore 3-2 Aug. 18, with Brette Pettet, Dolan and Carey (with the game-winner) doing the scoring, and doubled South Shore 4-2 Aug. 21, with Shay-Leigh Beaton scoring twice and Carey and Dolan one apiece.
The U-14B boys, who did not see action Aug. 18-19, remained fourth in their division at 6-6-2 for 20 points.
The U-14A boys were sixth in their division at 4-7-4. In their most recent game, the boys played Halifax City to a 1-1 draw Aug. 18, with Mike-Sander Marceus scoring his team’s goal.
The Valley U-16 teams remained out of playoff contention, the U-16 girls seventh at 2-10, and the U-16 boys eighth at 1-9.
The U-16 girls suffered three losses, all by shutout, losing 1-0 to Cape Breton Aug. 18, 1-0 to XFC Aug. 19 and 8-0 to Halifax County Aug. 21.
The U-16 boys picked up their first win of the season, a 2-1 victory over Dunbrack Aug. 22 in Wolfville, with Riley Guest scoring the winning goal with 25 minutes to play. Adam McCluskey had the other Valley goal. In their previous game, the U-16 boys lost 7-3 to XFC Aug. 19, with McCluskey scoring all three Valley goals.