Oct. 1 Niagara College Report
A pair of soccer players have been named Niagara College’s athletes of the week.
Earning female honours was Crystal Beach native Hailey Gawel. The rookie has moved from the midfield position to playing a key defensive role for the Knights this season. Gawel is logging 90 minutes per game in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association play this season and has embraced her new role.
In action last week, the Knights fell to 3-2 in league play following a 6-0 loss to second-ranked Fanshawe College (4-0-1). Jade Kovacevic netted five goals for the defending Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association champions.
Niagara women’s head coach Rob Lalama knew his team was heading into their toughest match of the year.
“We witnessed one of the best college teams in the country and the best female college player in the country right now,” he said. “We simply just struggled to compete with our depleted lineup right now.”
Niagara hosts the University of Toronto-Mississauga (1-3-1) Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Youngs Sportsplex.
NIAGARA’S BEST MAN
Earning Niagara’s male athlete of the week award was Simon Silverio from Hamilton.
In Niagara’s 4-2 loss to Fanshawe College last weekend, Silverio played all 90 minutes and continued to add depth to a very young midfield crew that features only one returning player.
“Simon’s abilities on both sides of the ball are impressive as is his ability to read the play and really be a big part of what’s going on at all times,” Niagara head coach Frank DeChellis said. “Still very young, Simon shows composure against tough opponents and is a credit to his youth coaches.”
Governor Simcoe grad Oti Frigole opened and closed the scoring to sandwich four goals by Fanshawe.
The second-year forward is one goal away from tying the Knights’ all time regular season goal record of 15, set twice by Carlos Williams.
With the loss, the Knights fell to 1-4 on the season, but DeChellis is remains positive about the way his young team is starting to come together.
“I am pleased by how many chances we created the last three matches,” he said. “Everybody is taking steps forward at different times in this young group and it’s nice to see things looking more fluid. Hopefully, we don’t run out of season before the team has a chance to enjoy some positive results.”
Frigole is also noticing the squad coming together.
“It was great to be back with the team after missing the last two games,” he said. “I feel as though we were finally beginning to gel and work strong as a collective unit.”
Frigole feels Fanshawe was a great opponent, bur his team deserved a better fate.
“They’re a great team and I believe our performance tonight, despite the lost, showed the fans and even ourselves that we belong here and to finish in the top half of this division,” he said. “I look forward to see the great things we bring on Wednesday against UTM.”
First year midfielder Rhys Jones echoed those thoughts.
“I think the boys fought hard tonight from back to front with everyone putting in a full shift,” he said. “The result is obviously not what we are looking for at this point in the season, but nevertheless we grew as a unit, once again.”
Niagara hosts the University of Toronto-Mississauga (4-1) Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Youngs Sportsplex.
The Niagara golf team placed third at the recent McMaster/Mohawk Invitational played at Heron Point in Ancaster.
The ‘Mo/Mac’ invitational is one of the largest and strongest fields of the tournament season with 17 schools participating.
Niagara was led by fourth-year Spencer Gates (Fort Erie), who shot an impressive 75 in extremely tough conditions and placed third as an individual.
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