Newman & Mary Dominate Day 1 at OFSAA Soccer

Newman and St. Mary Dominate Day 1 at OFSAA Soccer
Posted on 06/09/2024

By Larry Moko

Both teams representing the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association got off to a fast start at their respective OFSAA soccer tournaments Thursday.

In Windsor, at the boys’ 20-team AAA competition, the St. John Henry Newman Cardinals won twice – 1-0 over Thunder Bay’s St. Ignatius Falcons and 2-0 over the Kingston Bears.

Newman captured a silver medal provincially last season.

The St. Mary Crusaders also went undefeated. In St. Thomas, for girls’ AA, the Crusaders opened with a 3-0 victory over Gloucester’s Louis-Riel Rebels on goals by Caitlyn Gratton, Alexandra Danieli and Daniella Lopez.

St. Mary also tied Guelph’s Bishop Macdonell Celtics, 1-1.

On Friday, the Crusaders conclude their pool- play portion of the tournament against Niagara Falls Saint Paul and Toronto’s Oliver Mowat.

Quarter-finals for boys’ AAA and girls’ AA are scheduled for Friday with semifinals and finals on Saturday.

In boys’ action, Miles Phillips scored for Newman with 11 minutes left in the game against St. Ignatius -- the group’s fifth seed.

“They caught us a bit off guard with their tough aggressive play,” Cardinals coach Gerry Moretuzzo said. “But our guys settled the play down and provided a bunch of chances down the stretch of the second half.”

In Game 2, against Kingston, Newman created numerous early scoring opportunities.

“We eventually scored a beautiful goal with Kenan Hodzic putting in a through ball to Adams Yusuph who caught their defence off guard with a run up the middle.”

Michael Ciarmoli capped the scoring three minutes into the second half.

“Kenan dropped back from his centre-forward position to receive a ball that he eventually got through to Ciarmoli,” Moretuzzo said. “Michael took off down his right wing and placed a nice shot off the far post.

“In both games we were quite strong defensively, providing the opposition with few scoring chances.”

The Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference champions from Hamilton conclude their pool play schedule Friday against Sacred Heart of York Region and Toronto’s St. Basil the Great.

 “I think we have a strong team,” St. Mary coach Lora te Boekhorst said. “It’s a very tough tournament to win, having to play seven games in just three days. Our goal from the beginning of the season is to medal at OFSAA. So, hopefully, we can make it to Saturday.”

The defending champion Oakville Blakelock Tigers scored a pair of 4-0 wins Thursday. And it was Blakelock that recently defeated St. Mary, 3-0, for the GHAC championship.

“They are a great team,” Boekhorst said of the Tigers. “We did not show well against them. Hopefully, we will meet them for a rematch in OFSAA.”