Thunder strikes at Sheridan College

OCAA women's soccer champions Algonquin Thunder

OCAA women’s soccer champions Algonquin Thunder


The Algonquin Thunder was crowned the 2013 Ontario College Athletics Association women’s soccer champions over the weekend.
The event was held at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar campus on Oct. 26.

Algonquin defeated their East Division rivals, the Seneca Sting, 2-1 in the championship game of the 2013 Belair Direct OCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.

“It feel’s really good, it’s a really proud moment for the program, it’s our first year as a coaching staff to be able to come in and do this, I don’t think the program has been to nationals for 11 years, [so] it’s a very proud moment for myself, [Assistant Coach’s Robin] Rushton, [Les] Escobar, and [Patrick] Beland. My staff is fantastic,” said Thunder head coach Domenic Oliveri.

Algonquin was quick to generate offensive opportunities in the first 10 minutes of action, as Jaymie Baldree found herself situated at the top of the six-yard box and was able to bury a shot past Sting goalie Rachel Dorland to open the scoring.

Seneca looked to answer back but couldn’t convert on offensive opportunities. Thunder goaltender Jennifer Kelly managed to stay composed under pressure from Seneca offenders, making brave sprints to smother the ball in Algonquin’s defensive territory.

Seneca forward Nicole Forbes challenged Kelly moments before the end of half, nearly sliding into a shot during a defensive scramble near the Thunder goal, but the miss allowed Algonquin to hold a 1-0 advantage at the interval.

Algonquin Thunder celebrating victory!

Algonquin Thunder celebrating victory!

Tension ran high in the later portion of the second half as Seneca was productive in getting into Algonquin’s defensive zone but could not capitalize on crucial chances.
A free kick early on from Seneca forward Rita Keimakh was headed by Emma Gattoni, but the attempt just skipped wide.
Ginny Cass would produce what would end up being the game winner, breaking through Seneca defenders in a two-on-one rush towards the net. A bullet to the back of the net would give them the two-goal differential late in the match.

The Sting had not seen the last of their offensive opportunities though, driving back into Algonquin territory, but failing to generate a goal from the corner in the 84th minute.

It wasn’t until the 90th minute of play that Seneca earned a free kick at the top of the box where Victoria Curci delivered a snipe to the top corner, allowing Seneca to break the shutout late in the championship match.

Seneca continued to push forward in a limited amount of injury time, but could not find the touch required to threaten the Algonquin goal.
Algonquin defender Breanna Humpphreys was named the tournament MVP, while Thunder goalkeeper Jennifer Kelly, Rita Keimakh (Seneca), Hilda Chmait (Seneca) and Alora Walcott (Humber) rounded out the tournament All-Star team.

Algonquin will travel to Surrey on Nov. 5 to represent the OCAA in the CCAA National Championship tournament, hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Corinna Vanderschaaf plays the ball

Corinna Vanderschaaf plays the ball

Earlier in the day, the Humber Hawks defeated St. Lawrence Kingston 4-1 to take home the bronze medal.

Humber took the lead with a goal that came in the 25th minute by Alora Walcott, as the ball deflected off the crossbar over St. Lawrence goaltender Nicolle Gaudet.

Hawks forward Keyanna Jackson doubled the margin for Humber, just before the end of the half.

“It’s a good feeling because we came back strong. It was disappointing yesterday but we’re a very young team and there’s a lot of work to do,” said Humber’s co-head coach Mauro Ongaro.

Sydney Midwood of St. Lawrence would help to put the game within reach late in the game with a goal that slipped through the hands of Hawks goaltender Stephanie Ciminio.

Vanessa Fera of Humber would pull that one back minutes after though, as her shot was just able to evade Gaudet to restore the Hawks two goal lead.
Jayde Wilund-Roach would cement the win for the Hawks delivering a top corner bullet for the final goal.

“With this weather, the ball skips everywhere, connecting passes, talking to each other, moving to the ball, all those things helped us win today,” said Hawks forward Corinna Vandershaaf.