Ross discovers scoring touch in run to D10 title win
GUELPH – The Ross Royals struck for a little more than a goal a game during their regular season, but discovered their scoring touch in the District 10 high school girls’ soccer league’s playoffs.
The Royals connected for three goals in the first half of Friday’s championship match against the Guelph CVI Green Gaels on their way to a 4-1 victory on their own field.
“The girls played hard all season and we were winning about 1-0 and then we just clicked as a team,” Ross coach Alison Marsh said. “They’re a mini family now. We beat (Orangeville) in the semifinals 8-1 and now we were able to do it again 4-1.”
Ross had scored a total of nine goals in their seven regular-season games. A stingy defence that allowed only one goal in the regular season allowed the Royals to finish first at 6-0-1. The Gaels finished third at 4-2-1 with 13 goals for and eight against.
In three playoff games, the Royals hit for 16 goals while giving up two. The Gaels had scored four and yielded one before the final.
“We worked on scoring and finishing,” Marsh said. “It was something we struggled with I would say at the start of the season and they were able to pull through and really capitalize on all our chances at the end.”
Mya Chin had two goals Friday while Brook Hoyer and Maddie Ryan also scored.
Emma Merhar had the goal for GCVI.
The season was the first since 2019 as the previous two fell victim to the global pandemic.
“Oh, it’s so good to be back,” Marsh said. “The girls were hyped. They were so pumped to play. Myself and Mr. Walters, Ian Walters, we were so excited to coach again. I think you just felt that on the field. The girls felt it and we felt it. It was so nice to be back playing and coaching again.”
While the title win was the third for Ross in four seasons, it was their fourth in 20 seasons as their championship win in 2017 was their first since 2001.
Ross advances to the CWOSSA AAA tournament at Kitchener Tuesday and Thursday. Pool play is set for Tuesday with the top two in each of the two three-team pools moving on to Thursday’s playoffs.
“Honestly, we don’t know much, but the Waterloo teams at CWOSSA, they usually come out pretty strong and they’re definitely going to be a hard competition, but I think our girls can compete and do well,” Marsh said.”
The Royals are in a pool with the Grand River Renegades of Kitchener and Owen Sound Wolves while the St. Mary’s Eagles of Kitchener, Kitchener-Waterloo CVS (KCI) Raiders and St. John’s College Green Eagles of Brantford are in the other pool.
Ross is to play Grand River Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and Owen Sound at 11:30 a.m.
While the Royals don’t know much about their competition at the CWOSSA tournament that likely means the competition doesn’t know much about them, either.
“I think they will be surprised and we can definitely have a chance at winning,” Marsh said.
St. James Lions are the District 10 representative while the Westside Thunder of Orangeville represent D4 in the tournament set for Tuesday and Thursday at Brantford.
In pool play Tuesday, St. James is to play the Simcoe Sabres at 9 a.m., North Park Trojans of Brantford at 11:30 a.m. and St. Mary’s Mustangs of Owen Sound at 2 p.m. while Westside is to play St. David Celtics of Waterloo at 10:15 a.m., Sacred Heart Crusaders of Walkerton at 12:45 p.m. and Glenview Park Panthers of Cambridge at 3:15 p.m.
Top two in each of the two four-team pools advance to Thursday’s playoffs.
Emmanuel Christian Eagles of Fergus are the D4 representative in the tournament slated for Wednesday and Thursday at Delhi.
The Eagles are to play the Walkerton Riverhawks Wednesday at 12 p.m. and the Waterford Wolves at 3 p.m.
Top two teams in each of the two three-team pools advance to Thursday’s playoffs.
- Guelph Sports Journal