Newman Soccer Team Off to a Strong Start

Newman Soccer Team Off to a Strong Start with 4-0 Victory Over St. Mary Crusaders
Posted on 04/19/2024

By Larry Moko

They take their soccer seriously at St. John Henry Newman Catholic Secondary School.

“We work hard and our expectations are high,” Newman coach Gerry Moretuzzo said after his senior boys’ team defeated the St. Mary Crusaders 4-0 Thursday to kick off their Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic schedule.
Up next for the defending OFSAA silver medallists from Stoney Creek is a five-day trip to Florida.

“We’re going to Miami tomorrow for a college showcase tournament,” Moretuzzo explained. “There’ll be some tough competition. It’s another opportunity for us to build and progress as a team.”

According to Moretuzzo, some college coaches attending the 2023 provincial high school final suggested that Newman take part in the college showcase. Planning for the trip started six months ago.
“It’s going to be exciting for our kids. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Cardinals held 10 training sessions last November. And, recently, they went undefeated through three indoor soccer exhibitions at United Soccer Centre.

“We lost five players from last year’s team,” Moretuzzo said. “Only three of them were starters. So we’ve got a pretty solid group again.”

With the infusion of some talented young players into the lineup, the Newman coach talks of a “competitive environment” that has been created.

“I would say we have 15 starters,” he said. “That makes practice pretty intense.”

In the opener at St. Mary, Newman scored twice in each half. Adams Yusuph netted a pair, while singles went to Miles Phillips and Tatenda Maningi.

“I’m confident we’re going to have a great season,” said Phillips, a left wing back who turned and fired in a 20-yard shot for the game’s first goal. He then took a feed from Nowah Annandsingh and crossed a pass to Yusuph to put the visitors ahead 2-0.

“Our strength is our chemistry,” Phillips said. “We play well as a team. There is no selfishness.”

One of St. Mary’s best scoring chances came in the final minute of the first half. That’s when James Bottineau’s drive heading for the top corner was deflected away by a leaping goalkeeper.

Said St. Mary coach Sean Dennison: “We have a mix of soccer players and kids who haven’t played a lot of soccer in their lives. We’re not a soccer school like Newman. Newman could probably field three teams.
“It’s a pleasure to play against a classy group like that. Our kids learned a lot.”

Dennison said it’s “very cool” that the Cardinals will be representing the Hamilton Catholic league in Miami.
Newman’s last international trip was to Italy in 2018.

Other senior boys’ soccer action saw the St. Jean de Brébeuf Braves defeat the Bishop Ryan Celtics, 3-1, and the Bishop Tonnos Titans blank the ACMT Jaguars, 6-0.

In the lone game Wednesday, the St. Thomas More Knights downed the Cathedral Gaels, 3-0.

Photos by Bob Butrym, RFB Sport Photograph

More photos on the HWCDSB Athletics Facebook page here