KSS futsal team off to a flying start

The Kahnawake Survival School juvenile girls’ futsal team played its first-ever game last Wednesday and managed to climb out of an early hole and grab the win.

The new team found themselves in a 1-0 hole against the visiting Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School team early on, but after figuring out how different futsal is from outdoor soccer the squad soon got their legs under them, head coach Paxton Phillips said.

“I would say we struggled right up until about halftime,” Phillips said. “It’s a very different game from outdoor soccer and I would say we took some time to figure it out. Once the girls understood how the game moved and flowed, they became a lot more comfortable.”

After being down 1-0 at half, the KSS squad went into high gear, potting four second-half markers to take their debut game 4-2.

“They worked very hard,” Phillips said. “Obviously there were some rules we were not familiar with, such as the kick-ins from the boundary instead of throw-ins, and the goalie must throw the ball in and not kick it in and things like that. But the game continued and the girls adjusted to how it was being played and they did very well.”

Phillips said her squad were all worthy of mention, considering that it was a first futsal game for most of her players. Kayleigh Alfred and Charm Goodleaf were the team’s top two scorers and goalie Tewakerahkwatase White helped secure the win with what Phillips called “a strong performance” between the pipes. Taiako’nikonhró:kewe Diabo, Jordyn McComber, Kyndra Lahache, Madison Diabo, Lyla Kirby, Brooke Delormier, Maris Brascoup and Teagan Two-Axe round out the roster.

Phillips had special praise for Two-Axe, saying the team’s youngest player was “also its biggest hustler.”

Futsal is indoor soccer played five aside. It’s a fast-moving game with substitutions made on the fly, like in hockey. There are no throw-ins. The ball must be immobilized and kicked back into play from touch. The ball cannot be kicked above head height, either, and there are no offsides.

Phillips likened the difference between futsal and soccer to the difference between box lacrosse and field lacrosse; they’re similar sports, but there are distinct differences in how the game is played.

“It’s a lot like that. The futsal field is a lot smaller, and there is a translation of skills from one game to the other. Like box lacrosse, it’s incredibly fast,” she said. “For the girls, it was a big reality check at the beginning because it was their first game, and its always hard to replicate competition speed in practice, so there was an adjustment for the girls and they adjusted quickly.”

The reason the sport is called futsal is because futsal comes from the Portuguese ‘futebol de salão’ and from the Spanish ‘fútbol sala’ or ‘fútbol de salón’ (all translatable as indoor football). Its origins are said to date from 1930s when Argentinian teacher Juan-Carlos Ceriani Gravier invented the sport in Uruguay.

KSS student activities and engagement coordinator Cougar Kirby said the action was awesome to watch.

“It was really fast,” he exclaimed. “We couldn’t even put chairs in the gym so we had to watch very carefully,” he said, laughing.

The next KSS juvenile girls’ futsal game will be held next Wednesday, January 25 at 3:45 p.m. against local rivals Howard S. Billings High School at KSS.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase