By Larry Moko
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic high school soccer fans have their final shot this month at seeing the talent that landed Abby Richeson a full-ride NCAA Division I scholarship.
A Grade 12 student, Richeson scored a goal and set up another as her Cardinal Newman Cardinals defeated the visiting St. Thomas More Knights 3-0 Tuesday.
It was Newman’s second victory in as many HWCAA senior girls’ soccer starts, while More’s league record slipped to 1-1-1.
“In the fall I’m going to McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana,” Richeson said. “I had some some coaches watching me for a few years at showcases. They contacted me in August. I went down there in October and signed with them in November.”
McNeese Cowgirls coach Drew Fitzgerald made the following remarks on the school’s website when Richeson signed: “Abby is a high-level athlete and is going to bring a physical presence to our team. She can play anywhere along the left flank and can also tuck into a more central midfield role if needed. She not only has the ability to whip in dangerous services with her left leg but can get on the end of crosses as well. She bonded immediately with our team on her visit and we know she is going to fit in well with our program.”
Newman grabbed the lead against More when Richeson’s in-swinging corner kick was headed into the net from near the goal line by Renata Djuravcevic.
The Cardinals added a second marker before the half when Richeson intercepted a pass at midfield, dribbled the ball past several defenders and rolled a shot just inside the post.
A through ball by Alyssa Scalera then sent Tatyanna Burke in alone to cap the scoring.
“I thought our girls’ level of intensity and our physicality was the deciding factor today,” Cardinals coach Franco DiGiovanni said. “We played hard. We won individual battles on the field. That’s what made the difference.”
Newman has already won two tournaments this season – in Oakville and Welland – going undefeated in eight starts.
“We haven’t allowed a goal yet,” DiGiovanni said.
According to St. Thomas More coach Giovanni Carboni, the Knights were at a size disadvantage against Newman.
“We can’t match up physically with them so we’re going to have to figure out what we need to do if we play them again,” Carboni said. “I was happy with the way we played, though. We moved the ball well.”
More’s lineup features seven Grade 9 players including goalkeeper Chiara Filice who turned in an outstanding performance.
Elsewhere, the Bishop Tonnos Titans scored a 4-1 victory over the Bishop Ryan Celtics and the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves blanked the Cathedral Gaels, 6-0.
In the boys’ half of the doubleheader, Cardinal Newman got goals by Daunte Millar-Wruck, Bradley Mupambawashe and Cole Fernandez en route to a 3-2 win over More.
Dante Medeiros and Christian Starcevic replied for the Knights.
The other senior boys’ games saw Brebeuf edge Cathedral, 3-2, and Bishop Ryan shut out Bishop Tonnos, 1-0.