Hold off the East Elgin Eagles, 3-1, in the WOSSAA AA girls gold match
June 2, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
STRATFORD, Ont. - The St. Joseph's Rams are heading to OFSAA soccer.
Kylie Todd, Ella Webster and Sara Gonzalez scored as the Rams defeated the East Elgin Eagles, 3-1, in the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) AA girls gold match, June 1 at St. Mike's Secondary school.
"We worked really hard for it. We pushed through the heat," Rams' keeper Jessye Rady said. "East Elgin is a great team. It's always a battle. They played really well."
The Rams led 2-0 at half.
Both Rady and Eagles' keeper Katelyn MacInnis made some tough saves for their teams.
Annalise Borm gave the Eagles life slipping one by Rady mid second half. The Eagles came close to tying the game before Gonzalez secured a Rams' victory.
"I got nervous but my team has a strategy," Rady said. "We say that we're down and we got to push, push and keep on doing it and work through the game."
The Rams held the advantage in play and offensive zone time in the first halg, but the Eagles had their opportunties in the second half.
"I'm not disappointed at all with the girls' play. We worked hard and played our best," Eagles' coach Nicole Fitzgerald said. "(St. Joe's) had a solid defensive line and anytime we got the ball they had two players on us and shut us down."
St. Joe's heads to OFSAA, the high school provincial championship, June 8-10, in Cobourg.
"I'm excited and proud of the girls. An once in a lifetime opportunity," Rams' captain Rachel Loebach said. "We have a lot of Grade nines this year, so it was definitely a learning curve at the beginning, getting everybody use to high school soccer, but we all gelled really well. We move the ball super well and talk."
Due to the COVID pandemic wiping out the 2020 and 2021 soccer seasons, WOSSAA was a new experience for even the senior players.
"It's cool that we did it," Rams coach Kevin Paiva said.
St. Joe's is hosting OFSAA in 2024, but now will be at the provincial championship in back to back years.
The last St. Thomas school to advance to OFSAA was the Parkside Stampeders, who won gold in 2018 and 2016.
St. Joe's won OFSAA AA in 2006 and made two other appearances during the 2000s.
In the WOSSAA semifinals, Todd had the lone goal and Rady the shutout, as the Rams blanked host St. Mike's, 1-0.
Borm scored twice for the Eagles in their semifinal 2-0 win over London South. Keeper Katelyn MacInnis with the clean sheet.
On the boys' side, East Elgin placed fourth, losing to Woodstock St. Mary's, 1-0 in the bronze game and 2-0, to South in the semifinals.
St. Mike's won the boys' WOSSAA AA title.
At the WOSSAA AAA tournament, also played in Stratford, the Parkside Stampeders boys and girls team both brought home bronze medals.
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