Knights drop soccer openers
The Niagara College women’s soccer team opened its Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season with a 2-1 home loss to Conestoga last Friday.
Conestoga scored twice in the first half before Lily Ryder scored for Niagara in the second half.
The Knights outshot Conestoga 12-5 in the game.
“Everyone was complimentary about how we played and I was encouraged about how we played but you are still concerned about the loss,” head coach Rob Lalama said. “But I think we were competitive and we can learn from the loss. We will make some adjustments and be better for the next one.”
The Knights are a young team this year with only three returning players.
Key players for the team this season will be: League 1 player Mia DiPasquale, who previously played at Brock; Jayda Rodrigue, who suited up for the University of Waterloo last year; Tori Hultink, last year’s OCAA West rookie of the year; and strikers, Ryder from St. Thomas and Ashley Phillips from Ingersoll.
“There’s some other young girls who are logging some minutes and they are getting used to the pace,” Lalama said.
The Knights will build as the season goes on.
“We are hoping to improve every game and every week and who knows where we will end up,” he said. “After losing all those players from last year it is a bit like starting over but obviously as a coach you don’t want the process to take too long. You want to get them up and running pretty quick.”
Niagara is at Mohawk Wednesday and Conestoga Saturday. The next home game at Youngs Sportsplex will be Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. against Sheridan.
NIAGARA MEN DROP OPENER
The Niagara College men’s soccer team was blanked 4-0 by Conestoga in its OCAA home opener last Friday.
“I thought we played well and we had some chances early on but we had some very defendable goals,” head coach Frank DeChellis said. “We did play them well and we had long stretches of possession which made us happy with the way they handled it. We improved on a lot of things from pre-season that we were working on but it just turned into a 4-0 game. We were pressing for the tie and we left ourselves a little bit open.”
DeChellis’s squad is a lot older than last year.
“We have a few guys with a lot of experience and I expect us to play a little more patient than other teams because we are a little bit older,” he said. “It is just going to come down to how effective we are putting the ball in the net. We had a lot of success scoring in the preseason which was encouraging and we just need to bring that back.”
Key players are: returnees, co-captains Joel Mariñas and Jack Soares, Anthony Argueta, Christian Buccella, Robbie McMilland, Blake Kokko, Kylar Lampman and Joe Croce; Brock transfers Sean Daraccott and Ontario University Athletics all-star Victor Kariuki; Mohawk transfer Dom McIntosh; and, rookies, Fredi Lokole, Adian Astudillo, Altin Ibrahimi, Nate Smyth and Mike DiMaurizio.
“Eleven different men’s teams from Niagara helped develop our players this past summer,” DeChellis said.
Niagara is at Mohawk Wednesday and Conestoga Saturday. The next home game at Youngs Sportsplex will be Thursday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. against Sheridan.