IROQUOIS – While many soccer clubs have already wrapped up their season, South Dundas United’s Fall soccer leagues began their season September 9.
Entering its third year for fall soccer, the Iroquois-based soccer club has five different leagues running with a total of 17 teams and just over 150 players from age four to 18 playing.
“Registration is down about 20 players from 2022,” club president Phil Blancher said explaining that the club adapts its league and team composition each season to fit the number of players.
“We have a couple leagues with smaller teams, but that is a great thing with soccer – it’s easy to adapt to different conditions,” he said.
Getting a fall league started has been a goal for the club since 2016, however it could not meet the minimum registration threshold needed to make leagues viable. That was until 2021.
“With the pandemic, people were looking for more outdoor sports options and soccer fit the bill,” Blancher said. Registration in Fall 2021 was just over 60 players, and it nearly tripled in 2022 to 175 players. This year, 155 players are registered across the U-6, U-9, U-11, U-13, and U-18 leagues.
Keeping the fall leagues running has been a priority for Blancher.
“Once you get into the Fall season, there are fewer options for youth to play a sport that isn’t hockey – without having to drive out of South Dundas. This gives families an option well into October,” he said. “Not everyone can or want to be driving to Brockville, Cornwall or Ottawa for practices and games.”
In Iroquois, the club’s first week of fall soccer saw a number of challenging games for teams.
In the Tim Hortons TimBITS U-6 Fall Soccer League, the Dragons defeated the Eagles 4-1, while the Owls shut out the Bees 3-2.
The Greyhounds took off in their first Tim Hortons TimBITS U-9 Fall Soccer League match, beating the Irons 6-1. In the league’s other match of the week, the Wolves defeated the Red Devils 3-1.
Celtic found themselves on the wrong side of their week one doubleheader in the BMO U-11 Fall Soccer League, losing to Hibernian 4-1 in their first match, and to Rangers 3-2 in their second.
Over in the BMO U-13 Fall Soccer League, the Blues dropped both sides of their doubleheader. A late goal in the second half sent the Rovers up 1-0 to the Blues in the first match of the day. A tired Blues met the Saints for the late match, resulting in a 3-0 shut out loss for the Blues.
The Comets took a one point lead in the BMO U-18 Fall Soccer League through a pair of tied matches in their doubleheader. The Comets trailed the Arrows 1-0 at half-time in their early match. An goal early in the second half tied the match, resulting in a 1-1 draw. Facing the Rockets in the late match, the Comets took a 1-0 lead, but conceded a tying goal just before half-time. A scoreless second half resulted in a second 1-1 draw for the Comets.
League play continues each Saturday until October 14, with a concluding playoff tournament on October 21.