Play. Inspire. Unite.
Defence wins championships is a mantra which embodied the Team Ontario Women’s Soccer Team at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara. Team Ontario’s strong defence was on full display on Sunday afternoon in the women’s soccer finals, where they defeated Quebec 3-0 to take home the gold medals.
“The team executed the game plan well, not falling into Quebec’s strengths and exposing their weaknesses,” said Team Ontario Head Coach, Bryan Rosenfeld. “We defended well all through the tournament, not allowing teams to create anything against us, and when they did like in the finals against Quebec, our defenders made the needed plays and tackles to stop scoring opportunities.”
Despite the final score, the opening 15 minutes were very even as both teams were content to sit back in their defensive shapes and play in midfield as they felt each others out.
It was right before the cooling break that the game started to open up when Quebec created the first real chance when a centering cross was volleyed off the crossbar, nearly giving them the opening goal. Unfortunately for them, it was Ontario’s day.
Just a minute later, Ontario attacked down the right side, eventually centering the ball to the top of the 18-yard box where arriving Amanda Allen hit the ball into the left side of the net in a controlled yet powerful finish to give Ontario the lead.
They never looked back.
Ontario continued to attack and pressure full field and a few minutes later they were awarded with a second goal when Nyah Rose drove to the goal line and finished on a tight angle to double Ontario’s lead.
The opening minutes of the second half were similar to those of the first, but Ontario grew as the game moved on and in the 71st minute, substitute Aliya Gomes added a third Ontario goal to put the game just about out of Quebec’s reach.
Through their four game tournament, Team Ontario did not concede any goals, finishing with a 28-0 goal differential, which includes an 18-0 win over Yukon, a 3-0 win over Prince Edward Island and a 4-0 win over Nova Scotia in the semi-finals, in addition to the win over Quebec.
“The team grew together as we learned to be kind to each other which resulted in us looking at each other as family,” said Rosenfeld in closing. “This created a strong bond between us that helped us fight for each other and ultimately win together.”