By Larry Moko
A four-goal effort by Julianna Cellamare sparked the defending-champion Bishop Ryan Celtics to an 8-0 victory over the Cathedral Gaels in the opening game of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic senior girls’ high school soccer season.
It was the lone game on the schedule. The rest of the teams begin play Tuesday, April 23.
“I think I’ve scored more before but I can’t remember,” Cellamare said when asked if four in a high school game is her personal best.
Cellamare also plays at the club level for Hamilton Sparta.
The Celtics, who led 5-0 at the half, also got two goals by Clara Maximus and singles by Isabella Borreggine and Jenna Hanson.
Karolina Kolodziej was in goal for the shutout.
“That was a great start to our season,” said coach Cassandra Fortino, who also guided the Celtics to the league’s indoor soccer championship recently. “We like to pass it around. That’s our style of play.”
On most of the goals, Bishop Ryan launched long through balls down the middle which the forwards raced for and then had breakaway shots on goalkeepers Julia Babich (first half) and Tristan Munroe (second half).
“The movement really starts from the back,” coach Fortino said. “We push it out wide then our midfielders play it through to our forwards. Our forwards have good speed to get past the defence to go 1-on-1 with the goalie.”
Both teams participated in the recent McMaster University tournament. Cathedral finished with a 1-2 record while Bishop Ryan was 3-1. The HWCAA’s Bishop Tonnos Titans won the championship.
“(Hamilton) Catholic league is such a strong league with quite a few good teams,” Cathedral coach Sandra Daly said. “As soon as we go into tournaments where there are teams from other boards, we have success.
“I try to tell our girls not to get discouraged with our league (results).”
At the Mac tournament, Cathedral defeated Holy Trinity and lost a narrow 3-2 decision to Sir Winston Churchill of St. Catharines. Said Daly: “We also scored four goals in the tournament (Nina Rajczak, 2, Marlina Zeljeznjak and Alijah Caesar-Buckley) which was an accomplishment.”
According to Daly, the Cathedral squad features “athletes” and doesn’t have many players with club experience.
The Celtics are optimistic about their chances of repeating as champion this season.
“We won it last year (on penalty kicks over Cardinal Newman),” Cellamare said. “We lost a few good players from that team but we’re not too bad. We won indoors, so that was a good start.”