By Larry Moko
Two of the host teams for the OFSAA boys’ high school soccer tournament in June opened the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association season with a thriller Tuesday.
The Bishop Ryan Celtics rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit at Cardinal Newman to defeat the Cardinals 3-2 in extra time.
After a pair of goals by Alex Tougher gave Newman a two-goal cushion, the Celtics replied with markers by substitute John Jaroslawski, Noah Bollert and Jacob Patten.
“We had a little team talk at halftime that brought us back to where we needed to be,” Patten said. “We made a couple of changes and came back.
“I’m hoping the boys can keep focused so that maybe we can do well this season and take home the Cup.”
Celtics netminder Jessie Munarolo began the play that culminated in Patten’s brilliant shot to the top corner from about 15 yards out.
“Jessie came out to play the ball,” Patten said. “After he grabbed it, he saw me run and tried to launch it to me. Noah Bollert our midfielder worked hard and got the ball through to me. From there, I just put my body in front of the next player and went for the corner.”
This year’s AAA provincial showdown takes place June 1-3 at four Hamilton locations — pool-play games at the Bishop Ryan, Newman and St. Jean de Brebeuf high school fields along with Heritage Green Park.
“The top 20 schools from across the province will be here,” said Anthony Macaluso, a Newman assistant coach and convener of the event.
“I think it’s going to be a great tournament. We’re full steam ahead.”
The St. Thomas More Knights, defending champions of the HWCAA and the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference, went on to capture a silver medal at OFSAA in 2016.
“Our GHAC association gets two bids,” Macaluso said of this year’s field for OFSAA. “We’ve got some really strong teams in our league. More is the defending champion, we (Newman) will be strong again and Bishop Ryan just won the indoor tournament. The talent is so good in our league that any team could win a one-game playoff.”
The OFSAA semifinals will take place at Bishop Ryan and Newman with the bronze and gold-medal games scheduled for Newman.
Said Macaluso: “We’ve also got a banquet on May 31 at LIUNA Station. We expect 500 people will be in attendance for that.”
In the senior girls’ opener Tuesday, Brianna Mascia scored two goals and Claudia D’Angelo added a single to lead the defending OFSAA champions from Cardinal Newman to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Celtics.
Source: Marnie Jadon