Defence comes first for Frasca
Lauren Frasca was named Niagara’s female athlete of the week after helping her team secure a 2-1 victory against the Redeemer Royals. Photo by: RYAN McCULLOUGH.
The defence rests with Lauren Frasca.
The 19-year-old Welland native has been a mainstay on the back end for the Niagara College Knights women’s soccer team for the past two seasons from her centre back position.
It’s a responsibility the Notre Dame graduate relishes.
“It’s basically controlling the back and trying to limit shots and goals on net,” Frasca said. “If I have an opportunity to go and score I try, but some games are harder than other games.
“When they are not scoring or we are blocking shots or just playing good D overall, that’s gratifying enough.”
Frasca said it’s vital to be on the ball in her position.
“You have to be aggressive and always be on your toes because when the play changes, they can attack you so fast. You always have to be ready for what’s coming.”
Frasca, who is studying fitness and health promotions and may attend Brock next year and major in kinesiology, began her soccer career as a mid-fielder.
“A coach one day tried putting me back there and I had enough speed to block anything and defend anything so I’ve been playing back there forever now,” she said. “You have to be quick to be able to play back there, that’s the key.
“That’s always the biggest fear, once you get beat, you’re pretty much screwed. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen.”
Frasca, who plays for a women’s team in Niagara Falls and previously suited up for a regional team, was named the college’s female athlete of the week after helping her team secure a 2-1 victory against the Redeemer Royals.
Frasca took the honour in stride.
“It is (nice) but it’s not something I care about a lot. It’s all about winning the game is what I care about.”
Frasca has high hopes for the Knights this season.
“I think this year we can definitely make it to OCAA’s (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association championships),” she said. “We’re a lot more focused and better prepared for games this year as opposed to last year.
“I think overall the environment and the positivity is a lot better than it has been in previous years and that’s to our advantage on the field. We have a lot of good chemistry.”
The Knights defeated the Lambton Lions Wednesday 3-2 to improve to 4-2.
It was a night to remember for Michelle Maecker of Fonthill who scored twice which put her two goals shy of the Niagara Knights record for career goals.
Katelyn Mix also scored for the Knights, who picked up their third straight win.
Head coach Rob Lalama was impressed with the way his team performed to start the second half of the season.
“I’m so proud of the team tonight,” Lalama said. “We moved the ball well and ran for 90 minutes. This is a tight group who are very supportive of each other. I’ve challenged them to improve on our first half of the season and tonight was a good start.”
Trailing the OCAA West leading Fanshawe Falcons (6-0, 1st OCAA West) by six points, every game is crucial if the Knights want to have a shot at winning the division.
“I can see improvement with our team every day,” Maecker said. “It is so satisfying that all our hard work is paying off and it shows by how well we are working together. Our strikers are getting more comfortable shooting and we are communicating better. This team has improved a lot from last year and I’m excited to see where the last four games take us.”
The Knights travel to Ancaster to take on the Mohawk Mountaineers on Saturday.
Men’s team back on track
The Knights men’s soccer program improved to 4-1-1 with a 3-1 win over the visiting Lambton Lions.
Zach DeWeerd, Jordi Amores of St. Catharines and Dean Miller of Port Colborne scored for Niagara.
“We moved the ball very well tonight, building off of the Redeemer match,” Knights head coach Frank DeChellis said. “There seems to be harmony between groups on the field and the ball is doing a lot of work. We completed close to 400 passes tonight, generated more shots and won the ball back more than usual. We’ll see if that continues Saturday [against Mohawk]”.
Despite not being one of the Knights three goal scorers on the night, the impressive play of Noah DiEgidio of Welland didn’t go unnoticed by DeChellis.
“Noah proved his worth again tonight by stepping in at holding midfielder and running the show for the first 60 minutes,” DeChellis said. “Noah has had a great season so far on the left wing after a busy summer of preparation. His decision speed and soccer IQ are both noticeably better than last season and we expect that growth to continue.”
Niagara’s next matchup comes against the Mohawk Mountaineers Saturday.
Coverage of the Niagara Knights is made possible with the support of the Niagara College Department of Athletics & Recreation. For more information, please visit www.goknights.ca.
On the right side of our web site, you will notice a yellow SUPPORT US button.
We are asking anyone who finds value in our work and is able to financially help us to click on the button and contribute whatever amount you feel is appropriate and can afford. There is no set amount. Any amount is appreciated.
The funds collected will be used to enhance and offset the expenses of running the web site.