Prince Edward Island beat Newfoundland and Labrador 2-1 Thursday to open the Atlantic under-14 boys soccer championship.
James Foster scored both of the host squad’s markers, including the game-winning goal a minute into the second half.
“It was really good for us to be up by the two-goal margin. I think that really allowed them to relax,” said manager Shani MacDonald.
She said the boys were really excited to play in a regional competition on their home turf in front of family and friends.
“They came out and they really wanted the win,” MacDonald said. “We had some really great opportunities today and we capitalize on enough to get us through.”
The four-team tournament sees each provincial all-star squad play each other before Sunday’s medal round.
“It is a very short tournament so every win is vital,” MacDonald said.
“I really thought the Newfoundland team played well. I thought they were really respectful and a good team.”
Brandon Howlett scored in the final minute for Newfoundland and Labrador’s lone goal.
Island keeper Blake deJong took a cleat to the face and needed stitches, but is expected to be fine.
In the other game on the day, Nova Scotia defeated New Brunswick 6-1.
Jacob Shaffelburg led the way with a pair of goals while singles went to Cameron MacKinnon , Matt Larter, Alex Black and Imon Hadian.
Marc Andre Wait replied for New Brunswick.
In girls action, Newfoundland and Labrador scored four unanswered second half goals with a strong wind at their back to defeat Prince Edward Island 5-1.
P.E.I.’s Darby Myers tied the game 1-1 late in the first half on a penalty kick, but the Newfoundland and Labrador team secured victory with a strong second half.
We had some really great opportunities today and we capitalize on enough to get us through. - Shani MacDonald, under-14 boys soccer team manager
“Getting the first win under our belt is major,” said Newfoundland and Labrador coach Johnny Breen. “In a tournament like this, where there’s only four games, you want to be able to get a good start.”
Morgan Browne, Taeler Kean, Nicole Torraville, Marjorie Boudreau and Anna Barry scored for Newfoundland and Larbador.
P.E.I. plays Nova Scotia this morning looking to get in the win column. Nova Scotia opened with a 5-0 victory over New Brunswick.
Jaime Baker, Serena Dolan, Shannon Armitage, Phoebe Vander Meulen and Emily Cheverie scored in the win while Spencer Skinner and Haley Smith shared the shutout.
For photos from the girls game click here:
In under-13 action outside of St. John’s the P.E.I. girls lost 4-0 to Newfoundland and Labrador. It was a tough start to the tournament following a long day of travelling, which saw them arrive in Newfoundland after midnight due to flight cancellations.
Nova Scotia defeated New Brunswick 7-0.
In boys play, P.E.I. lost 5-1 to Newfoundland and Labrador with Jason Poley scoring the Island's goal and Nova Scotia beat New Brunswick 8-0.