Annika Nolte scores four times as Dorchester blanks Strathroy Holy Cross, 5-0,
in the single-A gold medal match earning a spot at OFSAA
May 25, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
STRATHROY, Ont. - The Dorchester Beavers are returning to OFSAA.
Annika Nolte scored four times as Dorchester shut out Strathroy Holy Cross Centurions, 5-0, in the WOSSAA single-A girls soccer gold medal match, at Van Dyk Park.
"I'm really excited to continue our OFSAA journey. It feels great," senior Claudia Zavitz said. "We need to keep playing how we've been playing."
The Beavers didn't allow Holy Cross, a team that had four wins and a tie, in the Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) Central West Division, many scoring opportunities. That's because, for the majority of the game, the Beavers were on the attack.
"This was definitely one of our best games that we've played," Nolte said. "Our combination passes were brilliant. Our finishing. The aggression that we had out there was on top. It was from our defence, all the way through our mid field and our strikers and our goalie. It was amazing.
McKenna Brown also scored for Dorchester, with keeper Kayle Smith posting the shutout.
"Our whole team pushed back and helped defend as a team," said Zavitz. "No matter where we were on the field, we were always moving as a team, always pushing as a team and always defending as a team. It was a good experience today."
Zavitz had the game winner, in the semifinals, a tighter 2-1 win over London Christian. Bella Nolte had the Beavers up 1-0 at half-time. London Christian's Megan Friesen made the Beavers sweat cutting into their 2-0 lead.
"I think we just came out a little nervous. We weren't ourselves, but we still played well. We had some good combination plays," added Nolte. "We had lots of chances, but were posts and just over the net. We knew it was coming and we could score. This (final) showed how good we can really be."
London Christian's goalie also popped a few balls over the cross bar.
"Today, it impressed me how we went from our first game, to the final," Zavitz said. "It shows how we can push through the day and keep playing with just as much strength."
Dorchester went 5-0-0 through the TVRA regular season, before cruising through the TVRA single-A playoffs. The Beavers also won the Gemini Cup tournament, at Tillsonburg, earlier this month, defeating AA and AAA teams.
"We are a very solid team everywhere. We're probably the strongest at the attack," Dorchester coach Andreas Nolte said. "I tell the girls all the time, the more we attack, it's our way of defending. We keep the ball in their end and we have a lot of threats to score."
From the Nolte sisters, to Darian Linton, Lexi Wylie, Julia Ritchie and Zavitz, the Beavers present a defensive challenge to opponents.
"It's difficult for teams when we play well," coach Nolte said. "Once we get the that first or second one, the other team has to open up, which makes our attack that more deadlier."
The Beavers in terms of numbers have a small roster and some of the starters are only in Grade nine.
"We have a nice balance. We have a few seniors that we lean on heavy, but we have a lot of tens and nines," coach Nolte said. "We only have 17 kids on the team and they all play. We kept every player that came out. Every kid saw the field and every kid will see the field in every game. They all sub and you don't see much of a difference in play. It's kudos to the girls. They're doing a great job."
The semifinal was one of Dorchester's closest games. London Christian was 4-1-0, in the Central A/AA division.
"Our first game was a struggle, but that's respect to the other team that defended really well," coach Nolte said. "We really struggled and we came through with a 2-1 victory. The struggles were on our behalf. There were lots of little things we didn't do. We talked about that and said that's ok. That's a great game, if we learn from that. In the final, we didn't have those struggles."
Dorchester returns to the high school provincial championship, where in 2019, the team placed fourth, the last time the tournament occurred, due to the COVID pandemic.
Zavitz, Annika Nolte and Leiha Hunt, were part of that team and this year's goal is to go further.
"You always got to look to win. There's no holding back," Annika Nolte said. "That's the goal, to win OFSAA. That's what we're going to try for. I think we do have the team, that can compete and can compete with any team."
OFSAA 2022 is June 2-4, at Belle River.
Overtime sinks Dorchester boys
Dorchester was one shot away for playing gold and then a kick away from a bronze medal.
Instead, the Beavers finished fourth at the WOSSAA single-A boys tournament.
In the bronze medal match, St. Marys DCVI won 5-4, on penalty kicks.
The Beavers led 4-3 late in overtime, before St. Marys knotted the affair. St. Mary held the advantage late in the second before Noah VanBerkel scored on a penalty kick.
Keenan Ashby, Caleb Eastman and Jaden Sebinagana, also scored for Dorchester.
In the semifinals, London Westminster beat Dorchester, 5-2, in overtime.
London Gabriel-Dumont won gold, shutting out Westminster, 3-0.
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