Ross follows its script for quarter-final victory
GUELPH – Tuesday’s District 10 high school senior boys’ soccer quarter-final match for the The Ross Royals followed pretty much the same script their entire season has followed.
“It’s been a funny season,” Ross coach Adrian Renzetti said. “We started slow and we started playing better in the second half, for sure. We were around .500 or somewhere around there so that was a nice finish in the end.”
After losing two and tying one of their first four games of the regular season, the Royals responded with two wins in their final three league matches to finish fourth at 3-3-1. Tuesday’s result was also a change in recent history for the Royals who won back-to-back league titles in 2016 and 2017, but were out early last year.
“We lost out in the quarter-finals (last year) so it’s nice to win in the quarter-finals,” Renzetti said.
The Royals started slowly against the St. James Lions, then came on with four goals in the second half for a 6-2 victory.
“We had a lot of problem scoring in the first half,” Ross’s Axel Koenig-Parris said. He started the second-half scoring. “We always start slow, that’s a problem for our team. We start slow the first 15 or 20 minutes. We’re often losing and we’ve got to turn it on. I think by the second half we were really pushing and we really wanted it.”
“We were getting chances in that first half, but we just weren’t able to put them in,” Renzetti said. “They were possessing the ball well in the first half and I had confidence they would come on and score in the second half and they did.”
“We had some injuries, which was unfortunate,” Koenig-Parris said of the slow start Ross had to the season. “Some of our superstars were having some knee problems and some ankle problems and also we had a lot of new guys. It was like a complete new team. A lot of people we hadn’t played with so we had to gel together a little bit.”
Koenig-Parris scored the first of those four goals midway through the second half before adding another goal seven minutes later.
“The first one was a little bit lucky,” he said. “I got on the ball and I hit it with the inside of my foot and I tried curling it inside the corner. It got a little bit close to the goalie, but it bounced a little bit so I got it past him. The second goal was a direct corner so I took the corner and I curled it into the corner, which was nice. I was very happy with that goal.”
Koenig-Parris was pretty confident stepping up to take the corner.
“I was actually joking with the linesman,” he said. “I said I was going to put this one in the net.”
Brock Ahmet, Gatlang Puot Riek Deng, Jack Nethercott and William Rodenburg scored the other goals for the Royals.
Riley Mastrogiacomo started the scoring for St. James when he hit for the opening goal in the third minute of the game. After Ross pulled even, Denver Drewery put the Lions ahead again when he connected on a breakaway in the 34th minute. However, Ross tied it again a couple of minutes later.
Ross advances to play the Centennial Spartans in Thursday’s semifinals. Game time at the Gryphon Soccer Complex is 1:30 p.m.
Centennial 8 Lourdes 1
Ethan Glascott, Isaac Hayes and Ola Ogunnote struck for two goals apiece for Centennial while Colin Grant and Francisco Ortiz also scored.
Bereket Ezra had the goal for Lourdes.
Centre Wellington 3 Bishop Macdonell 2
Atlas Nygen tallied twice as sixth-place Centre Wellington surprised third-place Bishop Mac. Theron Haggerty had the other goal for the Falcons. It was the second consecutive year Centre Wellington posted a quarter-final win away from their home field in Fergus.
Joseph Raso had both goals for Bishop Mac.
Centre Wellington and the first-place Orangeville Bears will tangle in a semifinal match Thursday at 2 p.m. at Orangeville.
Orangeville 8 Guelph CVI 0
Scoring details not reported.
Guelph CVI 3 Lourdes 1
Goal scorers were unavailable.
GCVI is to play the Centennial Spartans in the semifinals Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the Gryphon Soccer Complex.
The other semifinal Thursday has the Ross Royals hosting the Orangeville Bears at 4 p.m. at Franchetto Park.
- Guelph Sports Journal