By Deserae Fulcott and Shawn Obanda (Emery students)
The Emery Eagles played the final of the Regional Junior Boys soccer tournament against Northview
Secondary School on November 7th at the Esther Shiner Stadium. It was an intense game
and keenly contested. The Eagles played with confidence; however, at about 30 minutes into the first
half, Northview scored with a shot from just outside the penalty area. The Emery team was not deflated,
and kept trying to penetrate Northview’s defense. Time and again their assaults on goal were shut down
by superior defensive plays. Emery’s hopes were dashed finally, when in the second half, Northview
scored again from a clever pass that bounced over the head of the defender, evaded the goalkeeper,
and found the back of the net. The Northview fans were ecstatic at the final whistle, and filled the
stadium with their victorious cheers.Although they had not won, the Emery team also celebrated. While Northview received their gold
medals, the Emery Eagles had placed second in the league. Although some Emery players were clearly
disappointed, many considered their performance a successful conclusion to the season
“We almost did not have a team,” said Mr. Keith Pollard, the Emery coach. It was two students, Destiny
Eriamiator and Christian Cuxum who took the initiative and got enough students together to form a
team. They were eventually named co-captains of the team. Along with Francis Manujibeya they were
instrumental in getting the team to the finals. These three were the main goal scorers for the Emery
Eagles. Destiny Eriamiator explained, “Some of the guys had never played competitively, but as the
season went on, they got better.”
Christian Cuxum struggled to get the bitter taste of defeat out of his mouth. He had played striker, but
would often drop back to mid-field when his defensive services were needed.
“We will get better,” he said. “We will be starting the indoor season soon, so our skills will improve as
we continue to play together.”
Francis Manujibeya echoed his sentiments. “I am happy that we made the finals. Next year we will be
better prepared and hopefully we will bring home the trophy.”
All the boys are in grade 9 and will be eligible to play for the junior team next year. “These boys put in
so much hard work. I am very proud of them,” said Keith Pollard.
Emery had advanced to the finals after a tough 2-1 victory over respected Earl Haig Secondary school on
ALVIE GRACE EQUIZA
Emery Eagles advance Finals after grueling Semifinals win
On Wednesday, November 3, the Emery Eagles Junior Boys soccer team advanced to the finals of the TDSB league after a tough semi-finals 2-1 victory over respected Earl Haig Secondary School. Earl Haig was expected, by many, to be Emery’s toughest opponent of the season. The Earl Haig’s team was known for using ball control and rapid passing to put pressure on their opponents.
Before the game, Emery head coach, Keith Pollard said to his players, “We need effort. We have enough talent, but if we don’t play with effort we’re going to get blown away.” It seems that the team took his words to heart.
On Wednesday, Earl Haig quickly gained possession of the ball and dominated the play in Emery’s half. Early on, Earl Haig had the better scoring chances. Good defensive play, and excellent goal-tending, thwarted their attempts to find the back of the Emery net. Mid-way through the first half, however, the Emery Eagles evaded the Earl Haig attackers and made a break-away run down the middle of the field. Emery forward, Francis Manujbeya, scored a set piece from just outside the box. The Emery fans were jubilant.
Earl Haig responded quickly and scored their first goal to level the score at 1-1. Despite the tussle between both teams, the half ended with no further goals being scored.
The second half was a closely contested event. Encouraged by their coach, Mr. Pollard, the Emery Eagles picked up the intensity and aggression. Every ball was contested and every attempt at goal challenged. After some confident push forward, Emery won a corner kick. It was Cristian Cuxum who curved it over the heads of the defenders to deposit it in the back of the Earl Haig net. With about 25 minutes left, the score was now 2-1. Earl Haig, not to be deterred, continued a late game surge on the Emery defence. With clever defending and the occasional probing forward pass, Emery managed to contain Earl Haig until the final whistle.
The Emery fans were delighted. Emery had advanced to the finals.
After the game Earl Haig’s coach was gracious in defeat. He said, “We got caught napping on a few occasions. Emery out-played us when it mattered most. They deserve to win. They wanted it more.”
The next challenge for the Emery Eagles will be the finals against Northview on November 7th.