With speedy striker Emily Rogers sidelined for the remainder of the summer with a torn ACL, Jenna Schroeder knew she had to step up. And the Lockerby Composite graduate, who will join Panhellenic U-21 teammate Ellen House in attending the University of Western Ontario in the fall, wasted little time picking up the scoring slack.
Schroeder netted five goals in just two games as the local squad picked up a weekend sweep of the Glen Shields Sun Devils, improving their record to 6-1 in OWSL (Ontario Women's Soccer League) U-21 Provincial action last weekend. On Saturday, Schroeder opened the scoring in the opening minute, adding a second marker midway through the first half on a lovely through ball from Romina Cimino as Sudbury downed Glen Shields 4-1.
Stacey Watson and Veronica Mazzella (on a penalty kick) scored in the final three minutes of the opening 45 minutes as Panhellenic coach Giuseppe Politi split the goaltending duties between Taylar Dawe and Stacey Carter.
Schroeder is at it again on Sunday, drilling the only goal of the first half and rounding out the hat trick in the second as Panhellenic made it back to back 4-1 victories. Mazzella rounded out the scoring for the locals, who now prepare for their toughest stretch of the schedule with games against the likes of Oshawa and Markham.
And coach Politi is fully aware that while his troops survived their first weekend with their leading scorer unscathed, their remains plenty of challenges ahead. "Everyone else is just going to have to step up their game that much more to fill the void of losing a key player such as Emily", said Politi. "They certainly did so this weekend, but there's a lot of soccer left and some stiff competition in a few weeks time."Ontario Cup playdowns
The weekend of June 20th-21st would see no less than three seperate Panhellenic entries in action on a local level as Ontario Cup playdowns kept a pair of venues hopping. Coach Peter Zeman and the Panhellenic Spitfire finished with a record of 1-2-1 in the U-14 Boys grouping as the Brampton Battlecats moved on to Round 2, posting an unblemished mark of 4-0.
The Spitfire managed to remain quite competitive against the Battlecats, dropping a 2-0 decision in their opening game. The locals evened their record at 1-1 later Saturday evening, blanking the Brampton East Gunners 4-0 as Michael Marcantognini registered a hat trick, Cameron Lapienis added a solo marker and Austin Hodkinson recorded the shutout.
Facing the Thornhill Thunder Sunday at noon, the Spitfire found themselves deadlocked in a scoreless draw as Hodkinson continued to remain flawless through 180 minutes of play. With nothing at stake in their final game, the Spitfire wilted in the second half, finishing on the wrong end of a 4-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Ajax United Dynamo.
U-14 Girls action also graced the Nickel City, although the Panhellenic Thundefr struggled in mounting much offense against some of the best in the province. Coach Tim Paquin and company went winless in four games, outscored 16-0 as the Kitchener Spirit advanced in the all-Ontario playdowns.
Panhellenic lost to Ottawa Capital United Regional (8-0), Mississauga Falcons (2-0), Kitchener Spirit (4-0) and the Richmond Hill Raiders (2-0) as local entries continue to face the on-going challenges of extremely talented entries from across the Province as well as diluted Sudbury squads dealing with equal-aged talent split among multiple teams.Ontario Cup - Men's Soccer
Going into Sunday afternoon's encounter, Sudbury was guaranteed a team in the semi-finals as local entries Croatia Adria and Sudbury Panhellenic met in a rematch of a very intense and borderline nasty contest just three days earlier.
This time, the lads kept to soccer and the assembled crowd on hand benefitted as the game provided no lack of excitement. The teams traded first half goals just minutes apart as Dan Keir pounced on a loose ball just outside the 18" box and drilled it to the far corner. Mere moments later, a perfectly placed direct kick from Mike Asunmaa found the leaping head of Gerry Ousmane to tie the game at one.
Similar story in the second half - Croatia takes their first lead as captain Tony Tagliafierro strikes a direct kick exactly as intended, hitting the top right corner from about 21 yards out. This time around, it's Panhellenic's turn to answer and it's former Croatia Adria teammate Rudy Mutenba who does the damage, again taking advantage of a scramble in tight.
The 2-2 score remains intact through the end of regulation time and forces penalty kicks to decide matters, not necessarily in an efficient manner. Seventeen straight shooters convert on their shootout attempts before shot eighteen is drilled hard off the post as Croatia Adria survives to live another day, posting a 3-2 win.Panhellenic Lightning
Another solid performance for the Panhellenic Lightning crew, one of several local teams who travelled to Collingwood for tournament action the weekend of June 13th and 14th. With long-time coach Joe Persi calmly at the helm, the Lightning finished round robin play with a record of 1-1-1, enough to move on to the semi-finals.
The team opened with a 1-1 tie with Southwest London Tornadoes as Kea Koutsoukis scored off a long rush and well-placed drive. The Sudbury girls remained unbeaten as Michelle Jacques netted the game's only goal in a 1-0 win over the host Collingwood Comets.
A 2-1 loss to the Flamborough Flames (Karen Dubreuil scoring off an Emma Persi corner) did not spell disaster as Sudbury squeaked past London, which finished with three ties. The locals made the most of their playoff appearance, blanking the Oakville Raiders 3-0.
A balanced Lightning attack would see Karen Dubreuil convert a free kick from about 30 yards out, Alex Eaton scored on a rush off the wing and Nathalie St. Laurent completed the offensive outburst, burying her own rebound after bursting free on a breakaway.
A great final pitted a rematch of the Sudbury-Flamborough battle from the preliminary round. Unfortunately for the locals, same result second time around as Flamborough posts a 2-1 win. That said, the final required a shootout to finalize matters as Koutsoukis broke through their middle defenders and scored minutes before the end of the game.
Persi notes if not for a bit of bad luck, the team could easily have returned home with Gold medals in hand. "We dominated the overtime and could not put it away and missed every shot in the shootout", said Persi. "But that happens and overall, everyone felt more satisfied than not with the performance. There was lots of good learning and experience to take away."
Persi also praised the weekend performance of goalkeeper Kaitlyn Matson, noting that his team performed at the high end of their potential.Panhellenic Cyclones
While the Lightning have been a familiar mainstay within the Panhellenic family over many years, the Cyclones 2000 boys team are just starting their arduous journey. The 2009 edition of the team includes: Gian Franco Carniel, Dylan Will, James Soehner, Scott Adams, Nickolas Graham, Callum Dolphin, Christopher Clark, Connor McCracken, Evan Perusini, Brendan Palladino, Nicklas Valliant, Joseph Cassio, Tyler Maki and Alex Cimino.