Tag Archives: Blazers

Sounds of silence: plug pulled on all GSL outdoor soccer for 2020

The latest announcement from the Glengarry Soccer League officially ended any prospect of a summer season of the beautiful game in the county, as the GSL has pulled the plug on play in all adult divisions.

The GSL had previously cancelled the minor (youth) season for summer 2020, but there was hope of some sort of adult season, perhaps later in the summer or early fall.

That prospect was ended with this June 22 announcement: “Unfortunately, there will be no GSL soccer this outdoor season. The GSL has made the difficult decision to cancel ALL divisions. This includes Senior, Tier 2, and Hearts (in addition to the previously cancelled minor division).”

The addition of the Hearts to the cancellation list refers to the competitive Glengarry Hearts minor teams that the county fields each year to compete in the East Region Soccer League. The ERSL has not cancelled its season, which, in a normal year, would have begun in mid-May and run through August, occasionally into September.

A GSL representative told me that the county league was waiting on word from the ERSL and/or the EODSA (the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association, which is the region’s governing body for the sport), but none came, so the GSL acted, officially silencing soccer balls in Glengarry.

Meanwhile, Ontario Soccer and the EODSA has announced that clubs can begin phase 1 of the Return to Play plan.

Ontario Soccer notice
Ontario Soccer graphic

According to Ontario Soccer plan, phase 1 allows for a return to modified training. Restrictions include no contact and no league, exhibition, festival, or tournament matches.

Ontario Soccer notes that the organization “will determine timelines for each Phase in alignment with the Province of Ontario provincial health authorities involving government orders, restrictions, and guidelines.”

The ERSL has been working on a contingency plan to salvage a 2020 season, which now will not include any Glengarry Hearts teams. According to the current outline, “If we are not in Phase 3 of Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guidelines on or before July 31, 2020, the ERSL will cancel the 2020 outdoor season.”

The hope is that a 9-week season could start August 2, providing 10 to 12 games per team, and running through early October. This is what the ERSL bills as “our most extensive delay,” one of a number of scenarios within their contingency plan. Under this situation, divisions would be assigned two game days per week, Cup and Shield events would be cancelled, and there would be no two-week break in the schedule.

The Cornwall-based Seaway Valley Soccer Club also cancelled its 2020 outdoor season for house teams and the Coyotes (tournament play).

The Seaway Valley Blazers ERSL teams, which play out of Cornwall, are still registered to play in the region’s competitive league, should its season proceed at some point. Currently, the club is set to field boys teams at the U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15 (two squads), U16, U17, and U18 levels. On the girls side, expected teams are U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U16, and U18 (two squads).

Training for Match Officials

Registration for online training of match officials continues through to July 3. Clinics are expected to be run in August, assuming sufficient numbers sign up.

The GSL’s minor referee-in-chief, Matthew Houlzet, notes, “All learning is completed online and will certify you to referee and line games for U12 and older.”

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Minor soccer officially cancelled by the GSL

It’s now official: there will be no minor soccer season this year in the Glengarry Soccer League, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sport’s governing body had been extending no-play orders month-by-month, with the latest restricting activity through the end of June.

At the time of that announcement on May 11, the GSL stated that it would convene its board and committee members to explore options. Yesterday, the league announced there would be no minor soccer for the 2020 season.

“The Glengarry Soccer League has made the difficult decision to cancel the Outdoor 2020 season for the MINOR division. An email will be sent out to all participants with information regarding refunds. At this time, a decision has not been made for the Senior and Tier 2 divisions.”

GSL announcement, May 24

Matthew Houlzet, who serves at the GSL referee assignor and GSL minor referee-in-chief and works as a soccer official himself, tells me that the league is still hoping that there will be adult soccer in some form, though the schedule will have to be adjusted and/or compressed.

Typically, senior soccer begins in the latter stages of May, concluding in August. At best, this year, play could begin in July, unless Ontario Soccer extends the prohibition on play through that month.

The GSL will be looking at various schedule options that could see play (if it happens at all) extend into the fall, perhaps as late as October.

The only certainty at this point is that there will be no youth matches in the Glengarry Soccer League this summer.

In terms of other area leagues, today the Cornwall-based Seaway Valley Soccer Club announced the cancellation of its house league and Coyotes (semi-competitive, all-star program) seasons.

“Due in part to the closure of facilities, the uncertainty of distancing orders surrounding recreational programming, the amount of time it would take to properly organize a recreational soccer program, SVSC must in the best interest of all, unfortunately, cancel its House League and Coyotes programs for spring/summer 2020. It should be noted that this decision did not come lightly, but the safety for all is the most important to the club and we appreciate the patience from parents, players, coaches, and officials.

Should the situation change with current conditions of COVID-19, SVSC will be looking at other options to provide possible soccer training activities once it is deemed safe to do so.”

Seaway Valley Soccer Club statement, May 25

At this time, the East Region Soccer League, the top competitive youth loop in this area, continues to explore options for a 2020 season. The GSL via Glengarry Hearts and the SVSC through its Cornwall Blazers teams participate in this league.

The ERSL has not cancelled play for this summer, but has suspended all in-person activities per direction from Ontario Soccer. Updates on modifications to rules and potential play can be followed on their website here.

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Blazers teams triumph at ER tourneys

Two Seaway Valley Blazers soccer teams with Glengarry links recently captured tournament championships, with the U17 girls nabbing the U17/18 East Region Cup over Ottawa South United White, while the U18 boys claimed the U17/18 East Region Shield against Ottawa Gloucester.

The girls won their final with a 7-1 effort, on goals from Alexandra Aubin (2), Jasmine Leroux, Savahna Vachon, Michaela Kunz, Tia Latour, and Abby Lamica.

soccer team
2019 Seaway Valley Blazers ER Cup Champions

For the boys, it was a lone goal from Brady Ledoux that carried the Blazers to victory. Cole Fraser Dupuis had the shutout.

soccer team
2019 Seaway Valley Blazers ER Shield Champions

Both teams compete in the ERSL, the region’s top competitive league. Seaway’s U17 girls have seen goalkeeper Chloéanne Séguin secure eight shutout wins in net, as the squad sits atop the standings. The girls have 11 wins and 1 tie, in 12 matches, heading into play this week and are six points up on the second-place squad.

The U18 boys have a league record of 8 wins and 1 tie, in 9 games, entering play this week, and are in first place by eight points.

The ER Cup/Shield are season-long elimination tournaments that teams can choose to compete in, separate from their league matches.

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Stellar start to season for U17 Blazers girls soccer team

It’s been an impressive opening two months of the summer soccer season for the Seaway Valley Blazers U17 girls squad, which recently triumphed at the Gaels tournament in Kingston.

In league play, at the regional level of the ERSL, the Blazers are unbeaten to date, sporting a record of 5-0, with 18 goals for and 0 against.

Chloéanne Séguin has recorded four of the shut-out wins, while the other was backstopped by Kelly Brissard. Offensively, Alexandra Aubin and Michaela Kunz lead the pack, each with 5 goals.

The girls are scheduled for two road matches this week. Next home game, at Cornwall’s Optimist Park, is slated for July 17, when the Blazers will host Kingston United at 8:30 p.m.

soccer team
2019 Blazers U17 girls soccer team triumphant at Kingston tournament: In the back row, from left, are Joanne dexter (asst. coach), Alexandra Aubin, Abby Lamica, Tia Latour, Mélanie Guindon, Savahna Vachon, Makayla Roberts-Lamingman, Shalini Menon, Eva Quenneville, and Angela Aubin (coach). In front are Michaela Kunz, Jasmine Leroux, Samantha Graveley, Chloéanne Séguin, Kelly Brissard, Michaela Contant, and Jennifer Haycook.
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