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Tuesday, May. 21, 2019
Knights and Cards the teams to beat as soccer playoffs begin
by Randy Pascal

With high-school soccer quarter-finals set to begin as early as tomorrow, the Lo-Ellen Park Knights (girls) and St Charles College Cardinals (boys) have set themselves up as the teams to beat in the playoffs.

Both squads wrapped up perfect 4-0-0 regular season schedules earlier this week, though with the closeness of many of the games, it would be foolish to think of either of the front-runners as heavy favourites when it comes to walking away with the city banners.

Still, no one has yet to find a way to vanquish the Knights or Cardinals.

Lo-Ellen followed up victories of 3-1 over St Charles and 2-0 over Lasalle in week one with another shutout, 2-0 over the Confederation Chargers on Monday, and their stiffest challenge yet, slipping past the Notre-Dame Alouettes 2-1 on Tuesday.

Striker Gia Grossi connected for a pair of goals vs the Chargers, with Lauren Fearn recording the shutout, while strikes from Aliesha Spourdalakis and Kristen Mrozewski were just barely enough to counter the second goal of the year for soccer newcomer Vanessa McKinnon of Notre-Dame.

"We practice a lot on finishing, because a lot of the girls get caught up in passing, making it look good, when the point is just to get it in the net," said Grossi. Though slightly undersized, especially standing next to some of the taller interior defenders, Grossi is more than willing to battle it out, likely at her most dangerous when taking her favourite approach to the net.

"It's really important to keep your focus on going for the net, your intentions the whole time are to go for the net," she said. "I really like when I come in on an angle, because then it's really hard for them to tell if I'm going to go to the inside or the outside."

The Lasalle Lancers and Confederation Chargers sit tied for second at 2-1-1, with the former closing things off with a 2-1 win over the Horizon Aigles on the strength of goals from Hay-Lee Lavigne and McKenna Howard, while the latter rode the eighth goal of the season by Madison Laberge, earning a 1-1 draw with the Lockerby Vikings (Jordan Heffern with the goal).

The Marymount Regals bounced back from a tough opening week, blanking Horizon 3-0 as Allie Weiler drilled home the hat trick, playing to a scoreless tie with St Charles two days later.

The male Cardinals, for their part, are looking awfully good, outscoring opponents 14-0 while running the table in four regular season outings. The final win, however, did not come easily, as St Charles needed a second half penalty kick goal from Jack Jordan to squeeze past the Lockerby Vikings 1-0, with Keenan Osawabine maintaining the streak of clean slates.

In other Boys Premier division play, the Horizon Aigles surprised the Lo-Ellen Park Knights 3-2 as Ashten Lachance, Alexandre Léger and Mathieu Poliquin found the back of the net for the winners, while Notre-Dame stayed undefeated (2-0-1) with a 4-0 whitewashing of the Lasalle Lancers.

Malcolm Sheehan paced the CND attack with a two goal effort, with solo markers coming courtesy of Keenan Rocca and Sébastien Bouchard. In Second Division play, a two-goal performance on Monday from Harley Pattendon lifted the Lively Hawks to a 3-1 win over the Champlain Requins.

Ian Carter (Lively) and Owen Boudreault (Champlain) traded goals to round out the offense.

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