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Valley United girls proud to play at Gunn Baldursson Memorial Soccer Tournament


NEW MINAS, NS - A former teammate remembers Gunn Baldursson as not only a great player who epitomized women’s soccer in the Annapolis Valley but an “amazing person” and “great human being.”

 

Dara Ramirez, head coach of the Valley United Girls Under-15 AAA team, said it meant a lot to her to see her players competing in the annual tournament held in Baldursson’s memory, played this year on July 21, 22 and 23.

“Gunn was a team mate of mine in my first year at Acadia so for me it’s very special and I think it’s important for the girls to know who she is and what she accomplished,” Ramirez said.

Aside from being a great footballer who became a first-team All-Canadian, member of the Nova Scotia provincial women’s soccer team and a member of the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team, Baldursson was also an accomplished violinist and academic.

Ramirez said Baldursson had many amazing attributes and “epitomizes what these girls should really strive for.”

Ramirez said the team played well on July 22 and the girls “fought and battled hard” against a very good team as they tied Halifax County United 2-2 in their first game at Lockhart and Ryan Memorial Park in New Minas on July 23.

“We knew going into the game that we needed a win or a tie to advance, so it was the result that we needed,” Ramirez said.

Although they weren’t sure at the conclusion of the game against Halifax which team they would be playing, the tie advanced Valley United to the championship game later in the day. They went on to win the gold medal over Dartmouth.

Ramirez said the girls were excited to be reunited on the field, as this was the first time in three weeks that the entire team was together.

15-year-old Juliette Lazaric of Port Williams said it felt great to score the first goal for Valley United during the July 23 game against Halifax. She said being a member of the team is like having a second family. They’re very supportive and the players don’t get angry when someone makes a mistake.

Lazaric said she was concentrating on “playing as hard as I can and going for the win” in the upcoming final.

“But if we lose, that’s alright too,” Lazaric said. “It’s all for fun.”

Lazaric said she was proud to be part of a tournament held in memory of a great women’s soccer player. Lazaric intends to continue making the sport a part of her life.

This is the 30th year for the Gunn Baldursson Memorial Soccer Tournament, the largest all-female soccer tournament in Atlantic Canada. Baldursson was a third year pre-med student at Acadia University when she was killed tragically in an automobile accident on Nov. 26, 1987.

For a list of the medal winners from the 2017 tournament, visit

https://gunnbaldursson.ca/.

kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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