Ross grabs girls’ soccer title in shootout

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – A goal by the final shooter of the opening round of five shooters gave the Ross Royals the District 10 high school girls’ soccer championship title in a rain shower Thursday on their own field.

A goal by Jordan Faveri gave the Royals a 4-3 win over the Guelph CVI Green Gaels to complete undefeated D10 season. The Royals won all seven of their regular-season games and three playoff matches.

“I just knew if I scored that we’d win D10 and we’ve been waiting for this moment forever so I really focused on just hitting it into the net,” Faveri said.

As she strode up to the penalty mark for the shot, Faveri knew exactly where she was going to shoot.

“I always kick it in the left side,” Faveri said.

The process of selecting which players were going to participate in the first round of the shootout wasn’t a lengthy one for either team.

“We just picked the top five who were confident and ready to go in,” Ross coach Alison Marsh said. “We told them to just hit the net.”

The Ross coaches also had a simple message for the shooters.

“We told them we love them either way and just do their best,” Marsh said. “That’s all we ever ask for and have fun. We remind them every game that you’re out here playing soccer for Ross and just enjoy every minute of it.”

All goals in the final came in the shootout as neither team scored during 80 minutes of regulation time and 20 minutes of overtime. Both took turns controlling play, usually with a strong wind at their backs, but couldn’t net a goal on either Sabrina Mariani of Ross or Ryley Wheelhouse of GC.

“It was extremely tight,” Faveri said. “We played them before (a 2-0 win in the regular season) and it was also a tough match. It was just everyone wanted it so bad.”

While the Royals won, usual head coach Bart Schuler wasn’t on the sidelines. He was away on a school music trip.

“We’re missing him,” Marsh said. “We called him right after the game and he was so excited to hear that we had won. He was checking in all day so this is huge for him, too.”

The Royals advance to the CWOSSA AAA girls’ championship tournament next Wednesday and Thursday at Kitchener’s Woodside Park.

Ross is in a pool with D8 champions Resurrection Phoenix of Kitchener and D6/11 silver medalists Cameron Heights Gaels of Kitchener.

The other pool consists of D5 champions St. John’s Green Eagles of Brantford, D6/11 champions Waterloo CI Vikings and D6/11 bronze medalists Grand River Renegades of Kitchener.

“We’re expecting to do pretty well,” Marsh said. “We’re excited we get to go again. It is a lot of pressure because we won CWOSSA last year so we’re hoping to do just as well this year and we’ll see the competition.”

The Royals defeated Grand River 3-1 in last year’s CWOSSA AAA final and figure they’ll face their competition’s strongest efforts due to a desire to dethrone the champs.

“I think we have a strong team and we should be fairly competitive and hopefully we can do just as well,” Marsh.

CWOSSA will get two berths in this year’s OFSAA provincial high school AAA girls’ championship tournament at Belle River June 1 to 3.