Sept 19 Niagara College report: Women’s and men’s soccer
Niagara College’s men’s soccer team won its first game of the season last Friday. Photo by McGerry Photography.
The Niagara College Knights women’s soccer team rebounded from a home-opening loss with a pair of Ontario Colleges Athletic Association victories last week.
Niagara opened the week with a 2-1 doubling of Sheridan on the road Tuesday and then blanked Lambton 3-0 at home Friday.
Against Sheridan, second-year forward Rylan Greatrix netted the winning goal in the 80th minute.
“We played well tonight (last Tuesday),” Niagara head coach Rob Lalama said. “We controlled the play and moved the ball well at times. This young team is starting to learn how to play together.”
Niagara opened the scoring when Tori Hultink centred a pass to Avery Trask midway through the first half. Sheridan evened things up minutes later to end the half tied 1-1.
In the 3-0 victory over Lambton, Sierra Naccarato recorded the shutout.
Lalama was pleased with how his team played.
“We moved the ball and were able to regain possession quickly. Most importantly, we were able to give minutes to all players tonight.”
The Knights were in control of the game right from the start and entered halftime with a 1-0 lead thanks to a score by Greatrix.
Niagara continued pressuring in the second half and was rewarded when rookie Tori Hultink netted her first OCAA goal and Sydney Sica added her second of the season.
Niagara recorded an impressive 31 shots on the Lambton keeper while holding the visitors to a lone shot on goal.
Niagara’s women host Sheridan Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Youngs Sportsplex.
Niagara’s men soccer team tripled Lambton 3-1 at home last Friday to record its first victory of the season. Earlier in the week, Niagara was blanked 7-0 on the road by Sheridan.
“Working with a young team is always fun for the coaches,” head coach Frank DeChellis said after the win.
“You don’t always get the results you want but when you do it makes it more special. We started seven rookies tonight and they worked hard, played intelligently and enjoyed the experience.”
Niagara didn’t take Lambton lightly.
“They are well-coached and ruin somebody’s season every year. They came in fresh off a win versus Mohawk and only gave us five minutes to enjoy our 1-0 lead,” DeChellis said. “The way the guys responded after losing the lead showed us they checked off another box on their list of characteristics to develop in their college soccer journey.”
Scoring for Niagara were Noah DiEgidio, Issac Dewaar and Travis Korten
“All goals are special, but I appreciated tonight’s especially,” DeChellis said. “Noah (DiEgidio) has not registered a goal since pre-pandemic play in 2019, we gave rookie Isaac (DeWaard) the penalty kick to register his first college goal, but Travis’ goal was a relief after hitting posts and crossbars last season. His blast from the far corner of the penalty area that went just under the crossbar was a great treat for the home fans. Heck, we all went crazy on that one.”
DiEgidio was thrilled to end his scoring drought.
“Sebastian (Reed) played a perfect ball from the wing and I managed to put it past the keeper.”
He was happy with his team’s performance.
“We came together as a team after conceding that goal and elevated our game instead of panicking. We continue to realize we have better success when we keep the ball on the carpet.”
Simon Silverio and rookie Ariel Romero had strong games for Niagara at centre-back.
“Playing centre-back for 90 minutes was a good experience,” Romero said. “It’s a very busy position and always a different situation which makes it more enjoyable. The guys played a great game, moved the ball well and played very well as a unit.”
DeChellis wasn’t discouraged by the loss to Sheridan.
“That result hurts but it’s in the past,” he said. “We have to continue taking the positives and making those positives happen in longer spurts. Fitness and speed have not been issues which gives us a good foundation to compile experience minutes and acclimatize our younger players to college level soccer.”
Rookie midfielder Robbie McMillan agreed with his coach’s comments.
“There were some positives to take out of the game, we are still finding our identity,” he said. “We seem to be a little rushed and nervous on the ball, we have to try and play our game more simple and break out creatively and confident under pressure.”
Fifth-year veteran and co-captain DiEgidio wants his team to move on from the loss.
“We are a young team still going through some growing pains. We need to remember the feeling, but forget the game.”
Niagara hosts Sheridan Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Youngs Sportsplex.