Dorchester hands St. Thomas first loss in LAWSL Third Division action
Thursday July 26, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - The St. Thomas Scorpions had a perfect 11-0-0 run to start the season. But the Dorchester Sapphires have a thrown a crack into that record.
Emily Jans scored the lone goal, as Dorchester blanked St. Thomas, 1-0, handing the Third Division East leaders their first loss in the London and Area Women's Soccer League, tonight at Athletic Park.
"St. Thomas is such a good and tough team and for us to defeat them, their only loss, that was an amazing game for us. We played really strong," said Dorchester's Samantha Leroux.
Jans scored in the opening minutes of the first half, before the Sapphire defence took over.
"(Jans) was fast and caught our defence off guard and put a good one in. It was a beautiful shot," St. Thomas coach Jamie Earhart said. "We had possession for about 90 per cent of the game but they did a really good job defending. Their two strikers stayed high and other eight on the field collapsed and it was effective not allowing us too many scoring chances. They covered the box and forced every shot we had to be from outside the box. Their goalie was good in her positioning. It was difficult to get to the back of the net."
A new defensive strategy worked for Dorchester, after losing to St. Thomas, 4-1, on May 29.
"We changed up our positions. We played a 4-3-2-1. Now we play a 4-4-2. This is the first game we've done that. It worked out. We hung out behind," said Sapphire Nicole Sa. "Our back-up goalie, Kristen, she did so well. That's a pump up for our team."
The Sapphires, with a record of fives wins and six losses, hope to ride the wave of defeating the first place team for the remainder of the season.
"We have a game on Sunday, so hopefully we can keep up the momentum."
The loss won't greatly affect St. Thomas, having already clinched top spot in the East Division and have a date in the Third Division Cup semifinal, August 15th, at Wallaceburg. St. Thomas blanked West Lorne, the current West Division leaders, 3-0, in a Cup quarterfinal, June 17.
"The key to our season is team work. If you look at our scoring patterns, we have 30 goals, but we don't have a player in the top three scoring. We have an amazing offensive team. We distribute the ball well and bring in the crosses," said Earhart. "We are a possession team for sure. Every game we own 80 per cent possession, but it's whether we can get it into the back of the net. Tonight we couldn't."
St. Thomas was without Amanda Vlasman, one half of their "amazing centre-backs" dual, along with Cameryn Sanders.
The Scorpions have outscored their opponents, now 44-7. The team has five shutouts, starting keeper Rianne Neill (absent vs Dorchester) recording three of them.
The Scorpion roster, with only two players over the age of 18 years, features Sanders, Nicole Carnegie, Kiara Lattanzio and Zoe Gubinczki, from the Parkside Stampeders, the OFSAA AA high school champions, from this past June.
"Obviously that makes a different. They have the experience and they're coming off that roll and training (with PCI). They don't know how to lose. I'm a little bit riding the coat tails of some great coaching that they have," said Earhart, referring to Parkside coaches Gerry Safadi and Curtis Langley.
"Gerry coached me when I was women's U20. It's a nice little circle of life."
St. Thomas will be bumped to Division Two in 2019.
Paighton Fieldhouse has 12 goals for Dorchester, sharing the Third Division lead with Southwest Storm's Emily Davis.
Gubinczki leads St. Thomas with 10 goals, tied for third in Third Division. Reegan Cincelli is seventh with six goals, while Carnegie, is tied eighth, with Dorchester's Brianna Martin and Croatia's Erin Dale, all potting five goals.
Rebecca Jefferson leads Belmont with nine goals.
In the West, Melanie Ganhadeiro has nine goals for West Lorne, two behind leader Wallaceburg's Julia Verscheure.
In the Premier Division, Tiffany Johnston, another player from the Parkside team, has six goals for the London Youth Whitecaps Galaxy, putting her fifth in scoring.
The Rec Division leader is Colleen Marcus, who has 17 goals for Talbotville. Ashley Woolsey leads West Lorne with 12 goals.