The tournament had the air of deciding the best team in the CESL, even though the end of the weekend would lead to a trophy champion instead of a division champion. The Under 10 Pickering Girls Strikers thought that a win would put them on top, as did their parents. This tournament was set up as elimination games between each team that played against each other all summer. One lose and the winner goes on.
Half of the teams were eliminated before the tournament began with a game in July. Durning that game, the Pickering Strikers eliminated the Pickering Warriors with a 9 – 0 shut out. Eight teams in total moved on to the tournament weekend. And the Striker girls were ready to finish on top.
Coming off a win that put them in first place in the West Division of the Under 10 Girls, CESL. Pickering wanted to show that they were also the best in the east.
The Strikers first game was against a tough Darlington Fusion. The Pickering girls seemed surprised by the ferocity of their opposition. To compliment Madison’s outstanding goal keeping, luck was with Pickering as Darlington hit 3 goal posts and a cross bar to keep the game close. Goals by Megan and Sara put the Strikers into the next round, eliminating Darlington with a 2-1 decision.
With a little rest and energy bars, the girls were ready for the semi-finals round against the Oshawa Kicks Fury.
In a very physical match, the Pickering Girls showed their moxi scoring two goals early on forcing Oshawa to push to the offensive. Pickering defenders kept Oshawa away from the net. Two more goals gave Pickering a firm grasp on the game, giving up only one in the 4 – 1 final score.
That meant that Pickering would have to rest up for the finals on Sunday against their division rivals in the west, Wexford Panthers. Pickering Strikers had the psychological advantage having won the previous league game against the Scarborough team. Parents and players were set for a tough, scrapy final round.
The Pickering gilrs came out fighting taking control of the game from the opening kick. Wexford was kept of the defensive and, despite a ripe cherry-picker, were kept scoreless. A tense half for the parents ended with no score. It took another 15 minutes before Pickering could find the net with Shalena scoring off a throw in by Ashna. The minutes ticked by and it wasn’t until Nikayla put the insurance goal in place from a beautiful punt near mid-field that the parents and coaches could take a breath.
Pickering won the CESL Cup Championships.