Roma women’s team raring to go
The St. Catharines Roma Wolves are looking to build on a respectable showing in their first season in the League1 Ontario Women’s Premier Division.
The Wolves finished with a creditable 8-10-1 mark in 2022 and Wolves head coach Lucio Ianiero would like to see that record improved.
“I think we strengthened our roster,” Ianiero said. “We’re looking at building on what we did last year and do better than what we did last year.”
Ianiero admitted it was a steep learning curve for many of the players to compete at the League1 level.
“I think for the girls as well it was a little bit nervewracking entering the league team that was unknown for them and they weren’t sure the standard of play,” he said. “With that under their belt and the veterans we have returning, I think they’ll establish themselves a little better in terms of their confidence and their expectations.”
The Wolves have a solid core of about a dozen returning players while Ianiero mentioned significant expectations are expected from a pair of newcomers from Pittsburgh and Italy.
The veteran coach feels the club will be much more prepared this time around.
“A lot of teams had lots of experience,” he said. “We were playing against some teams where the women had kids. A lot of our girls are still in university so that aspect of maturity/experience will help us.”
Ianiero prefers an uptempo style of play.
“I like to play a pretty brand of football so scoring goals, forwards, mid-fielders, that’s what I like and obviously our goal is to now allow so many goals,” he said. “Last year we had two more goals allowed than scored, so we need to switch that around and I’ll be a little happier.”
He figures the scoring will be by committee.
“We’re hoping that whoever contributes can pop the ball in the net. Just looking at as many players as possible to chip in and hopefully our brand of soccer and play is going to allow some free-flowing movement on the field so the girls just aren’t stuck in one position. They’re going to be moving to open spaces to help provide goals.”
The Wolves begin their regular season Friday versus the National Development Centre at the Ontario Soccer Stadium in Vaughan.
“It’s difficult because a lot of our players are down south on scholarships so they will be arriving a couple of weeks after we start. You just have to put things together as quickly as possible,” Ianerio said.
The Wolves then travel to Waterloo Wednesday, April 26 and visit Vaughan Azzurri Sunday, April 30 before their home opener Saturday, May 6 versus Blue Devils FC at Kiwanis Park at 8 p.m.
The Roma men’s premier team square off versus London Sunday at 7 p.m. at Kiwanis Field in their home opener. The Wolves dropped a 3-0 decision at Alliance United last week to kick off their regular season.
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