Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Lady Eagles Earn Sportsmanship Award

  • Canaan Christian Academy's girls varsity soccer team soars at NY/Penn Tournament
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  • Hard on the heels of an historic year on the varsity pitch, Canaan Christian Academy appeared to be facing the inevitable "re-building" year in girls soccer.
    The core of a Lady Eagle squad that set all kinds of school records was lost to graduation, leaving veteran Coach John Ashley to wonder just what kind of team he's be putting on the field this fall.
    "We had some really big holes to fill," he told TWI Sports on the eve of the 2013 campaign. "If some of our younger girls step up, we'll be okay. If not..."
    As it turned out, he needn't have worried.
    The Lady Eagles came together quickly and were right in the thick of the fight for both the regular season and tournament titles in NY/Penn action.
    In the end, the local lasses came up a bit short in both races. Canaan placed second in the standings and closed things out with a bronze medal showing at the tourney.
    In addition, the Lady Eagles received one of the league's highest honors: the Christian Sportsmanship Award. In a vote taken by the players, coaches and fans, Canaan and Central Baptist were chosen as co-recipients for 2013.
    "That's one of the most satisfying parts of the whole season," Coach Ashley said.
    "Even though we came in third place, I'm proud of the girls because they play the game right."
    On top of the prestigious sportsmanship plaque, CCA was also honored with five selections to this year's All Star Teams.
    Corinne VanDeLinde, Casey Guiffredo and Cassie Palkovic will represent the girls, while Spencer Beals and Blakely Hoffman are on the boys squad.
    The NY/Penn All Stars will face off against their counterparts from the Empire State Christian Athletic League next week in an exhibition match.
    Page 2 of 2 - Tourney Time
    Canaan battled Central right down to the wire in this year's tournament semis before suffering a hard-luck 2-0 setback.
    This loss relegated the Lady Eagles to the losers' bracket final, where they battled Summit Christian.
    The Patriots are paced by two of the league's top scorers in sisters Abby and Caroline Majeski. However, CCA defenders Hannah Vigil and Faith Swingle did an outstanding job keeping them under wraps.
    And, Sami Beals was unbeatable between the posts as time ticked down in a match that seemed destined for overtime.
    Then, with only 18 minutes left on the clock, a lightning bolt struck.
    Casey Guiffredo took possession of the ball and raced upfield. As Summit defenders closed in, she unleashed a pinpoint pass to Tori Grimm.
    Canaan's left wing jetted down the sideline before firing a perfect cross to teammate Alli Wittenbrader.
    The Lady Eagles' top scorer hammered the ball home, good for her 11th goal of the season and an electrifying 1-0 victory.
    Grimm was credited with her team-best ninth assist.
    "In our previous three games with Summit, we won 1-0, 1-0 and 3-2 in overtime," Coach Ashley said. "This game was no different.
    "Our defense did a great job staying with the talented Majeski Sisters and that was the difference."
    Score by Half...
    CCA (13-6-1) 0 1 - 1
    SUM (11-12-1) 0 0 - 0
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