Last weekend proved to be a good one for a number of local competitive soccer teams, including the GSSC Impact U21 Women competing in the OWSL Provincial Elite division. Needing a win in the very worst way, the locals received a two goal performance from Alexis Belanger and a shutout from keeper Josée Scott to subdue PSI (Premier Soccer Institute) from Barrie 3-0.
The Impact are built around a solid core of local talent, supplemented with a few other northern Ontario additions who have trained with Brian Ashton and the regional program at times. North Bay native Trinity Desjardine is in her third year with the Sudbury team, but first at the U21 level.
“It’s quite a big change,” she said. “The girls are a lot better, technically, but I like to have a challenge. That’s how I am going to improve. Today, we were really able to connect our passes and work together as a team. We really needed to win this game in order to stay in this league.”
Center mid Brianna Scarfone from Sault Ste Marie travels even further, now committing to her third summer with the Impact, finding ways to deal with the challenges as best she can. “I think a big factor for me, given that I am so far away and don’t get to practice with the team as much, is that when I’m here, I really need to mesh with the girls as much as possible, so that I feel included,” said the 18 year old Cambrian College recruit. “And then I have to commit to working out by myself.”
The win leaves the Impact women sitting in sixth place in the eight team league with a record of 3-5-1 (10 pts), with some ground to make up in order to catch either GS (Greater Scarborough) United (16 pts) or the Bradford Eagles (19).
Thankfully, the locals will be facing the Eagles on home turf this weekend, welcoming Bradford to the Delki Dozzi Sports Complex Saturday at 1:00 p.m., and then hitting the road to face PSI on Sunday in Barrie.
The remaining Impact U21 women's team also recorded a key victory on Sunday, edging the Whitby Iroquois 3-2 in a back and forth affair. After having Susie Chard open the scoring with the only tally of the first half, the Sudbury squad were twice able to respond to markers from the visitors in order to secure the triumph.
Not a minute after Whitby evened the contest at 1-1, Impact striker Chelsie Sargeant danced her way to just enough space to drill home a go-ahead goal from 25 yards out. Converting for a second time directly off a corner kick, the Iroquois deadlocked the contest at two, setting the stage for some late game heroics.
The Sudbury women apparently went to school, using a corner kick to settle matters, as Christine Kettle sailed a ball from the left of the Whitby keeper, directly into the box, where Impact defender Jamila Sargeant made good use of her height advantage, heading home the winner.
Marina Sqourakis and Carolyn Alexander netted the goals for the visitors, as Sudbury bumped their mark up to 2-6-1, giving them a little more breathing room over the winless 0-8-0 Iroquois.
The northern Ontario team benefitted from a trio of call-ups, as the Northern Soccer Academy troika of Mackenzie Watkins, Aleisha Spourdalakis and Cassidy Burton all suited up for coaches Vince Muscolino and Chris Simonato.
The Impact will take to the road for a pair of games, facing Newmarket United (3-3-1) on Saturday and the King City Royals (9-0-0) on Sunday, before wrapping up their summer schedule with a home contest on July 29th, again facing Newmarket.
Meanwhile, the SDSC (Sudbury District Soccer Club) U15 Royals picked up an important split at home last weekend, bouncing back from a tough 2-1 loss on Saturday to the North Toronto Nitros, as Allie Weiler scored the only Sudbury goal.
Come Sunday, Jordin Rancourt would find the back of the net twice for the Royals, while Weiler drilled home her second in as many games, lifting the SDSC reps to a 3-2 win over the North York Cosmos.
With a record of 3-7-0, the Royals find themselves in 14th place in a Central Girls Soccer League division that includes a whopping 19 teams. The locals are heading south for a pair this weekend, meeting up with UMSC - Unionville Milliken Soccer Club (6-4-0) and the Bradford Eagles (1-4-3).
The SDSC U18 Celtics Boys are at home for a two game set, taking to the pitch against both the Whitby Iroquois (Saturday - 3:00 - Delki Dozzi) and the Wexford GSSA (Sunday - 2:00 - James Jerome).