Cougars girls book spot in final; boys fall to Hants East

Ryan Cooke
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TRURO – There was not much in the way stopping Veronica Sorenson on Tuesday evening – not the opposing team, not a bit of rain nor the bitter cold.

Sorenson scored early and often for the CEC Cougars, to lead a 66-0 shellacking over the Hants East Tigers in their NSSAF Northumberland region high school girls rugby semifinal matchup.

"We had to play like it's zero-zero and keep our heads in the game," said Sorenson, the Cougars powerhouse of the game. "We have to keep our focus and not take a minute off all game."

If that was their game plan, the Cougars certainly stuck to it.

Going up 10-0 within the first five minutes of the game, CEC kept the intensity level high and continuously drove the Tigers into their backfield. The Cougars outmatched its fellow feline rivals in every aspect - outrunning, out-rucking and overpowering the Tigers defense.

With the score 29-0 at half, a light rain started to fall on the field as spectators and coaches huddled up in blankets on the sidelines. A change in weather didn't prompt any change in the Cougars, however, as the girls returned to the field in fine form.

Right off the opening kick, the Cougars pressed, forcing the Tigers back to their own goal line. After a brief battle and a pair of whistles, the Cougars got on the board as Autumn Smiley busted through for a try.

There was no looking back, as CEC continued to stack onto the lead right down to the final whistle.

Despite the complete lack of scoring problems, head coach Dan Mosley said his team did not play up to its optimal level.

"I think the score-line flatters our team," he said. "The girls have played better, and they'll need to play a lot better on Thursday if we want to do very well against North Nova."

Keeping focus throughout a lopsided game is a key for the Cougars squad, he said. Knowing they'll be in tough next game, Mosley asked his team to play as if it was North Nova.

"I tell the girls to treat every game as if it is the finals," he said. "Play that game - you can't think about anything else."

Meanwhile, in New Glasgow, the North Nova Gryphons dominated the Northumberland Nighthawks 60-0 to book their spot in the final. The Cougars and Gryphons will face off Thursday evening at North Nova.

The CEC boys' squad was also in action versus the Tigers on Tuesday evening, but came away with a different result.

The male Cougars saw their season come to an end as they fell 47-15 to Hants East in their regional semifinal.

Scoring for the Cougars in the loss were Ryan Strickland, Austin Wheeler and John Gerona.

"It was a hard-hitting, intense game," said Strickland, the team captain. "The boys played with heart and left it all on the field."

Strickland also expressed his gratitude to the graduates on the team -Wheeler, James Christianson, Will Dennis, Ricky MacFarlane, Mike Pinto and Jared Adams.

"I have to give a special thanks to those boys," he said. "We're going to miss you all."


Organizations: Hants East Tigers, North Nova Gryphons

Geographic location: Hants East, North Nova, New Glasgow

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