Sports

Longhorns win fourth-straight title

Thomas Perry

By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)

TIMMINS - 

If the Longhorns keep winning titles at this rate, Kapuskasing council may have to think about erecting billboards at the entrance to the community proclaiming it “Town of Champions!”

The Kapuskasing squad captured its fourth-straight Timmins Men’s Soccer Club championship Tuesday night, posting a 5-0 win over a short-handed Acklands Grainger Rangers team at Timmins Regional Athletics and Soccer Complex.

The Rangers, who dropped Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series 5-0 on Sunday, were only able to field nine players — including their keeper. As a result, the Longhorns built up a 4-0 first-half advantage.

“We are happy (to win another championship), but I wish we could have had a better game tonight,” said the Longhorns’ Justin Renaud, who scored a pair of first-half goals.

“It’s been a good season. We have a super group of guys. They enjoy the game and like to have fun.”

It’s easy to have fun when you go through the entire season without tasting defeat like the Longhorns did this season, surrendering only a pair of draws.

“We never take any team lightly,” Renaud said.

“They played us tough in the past and we have had some good games against them this year.

“We just wanted to play our game and hopefully come out on top, which is what happened.”

The Longhorns’ strategy heading into the game — keeping the ball on the ground and keeping the passes short — paid off big time for the 2012 champions.

“We wanted to use the spaces that were available to us,” Renaud said.

Stephan Bisson also had a pair of first-half goals for the Longhorns and completed his hat trick midway through the final half.

The secret to success for the Longhorns in the past four years has been being able to keep most of the team together.

“We have the same core group of guys,” Renaud said.

“We lose one or two guys every year. We have a couple of rookies on the team this year, but we are always renewing the team, little by little.”

Conditions for the game were less than ideal, after a severe thunderstorm dumped heavy amounts of rain on the pitch earlier in the day, but it didn’t slow down the Longhorns attack too much.

“It was pretty wet,” Renaud said. “They had some pretty heavy rain earlier, so it was definitely soaked. The ball was fast out there, which was nice for us.

“We were able to move the ball around quickly.”

The Rangers were actually forced to play the final few minutes of the game three men short, as Adam Pressault was handed a double yellow card for mouthing off to the referee.

By that point, however, the outcome had been sealed and the Longhorns were focused on preserving the shutout.

“It’s hard to play with nine guys, but you know what, the nine guys who came out worked hard,” Pressault said.

“We did what we could, but hats off to Kap.”

This is the second-straight year that the Rangers have lost to the Longhorns in the championship series, which might give them incentive to take the next step in 2013.

“We won it the year before Kap went on its streak,” Pressault said.

“It would be great to win another championship, but the guys who are on the team are a tight, close group of guys and we like coming out and kicking the ball around and get some exercise in and try and stay healthy.”

 


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