League 1 Ontario Women’s Cup Final (August 9, 2015)

Results and details of the Sunday August 9, 2015 League 1 Ontario game between Vaughan Azzurri and
North Mississauga Panthers played at The Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 3:00pm.  This was the
League 1 Ontario Women’s Cup Final.

47 min…NMP Jivan Yacou GOAL…NMP Sarah Nixon rushes on right from 35 yards and takes low shot
from 25 yards that’s blocked by a defender at 15 yards and Yacou shoots 20 yarder down middle into
the tor right corner of the net over the flying goalie Rylee Foster.

55 min…NMP Krista Cellucci GOAL…Cellucci receives pass from right at 20 yards and sidesteps
defender and shoots 15 yarder into low left corner of net.

69 min…VA Colleen Beesley passes from the right to VA Nicole Lyon and she wins a Penalty kick
from referee Niquita Amirkhanian when tackled just inside the box.

69 min…VA Nicole Lyon GOAL…Lyon shoots low Penalty kick to left corner of net past diving goalie
Richele Greenwood who goes on her knees in middle of the net.

Final Score:…….Vaughan Azzurri………1……..North Mississauga Panthers…..2….

Attendance started at about 50 at kickoff but climbed to about 200 by halftime on this hot and
sunny day.  The crowd strongly supported the Panthers in numbers and voices.

This is the inaugral season of the League 1 Ontario Women’s Division.   There are seven teams
in the league that were divided up into one group of four and one group of three which played once
against each team in their group.  Both finalists were drawn into the three team ‘Group B’ and
each beat Pro Stars Women and Vaughan beat the Panthers in Penalty kicks to win the group.
They then crossed over on Thursday night to win their semi-final games against Group A teams.
Panthers upset group winner Durham United 2-0 who’d gone 3-0 and Vaughan beat Woodbridge Strikers
1-0 (5-4 on Penalty kicks).

Panthers’ win today can also be considered an upset as they are fourth in the standings with
a 3 wins, 1 draw, 6 loss record while Vaughan are in second with a record of 7 wins, 1 draw,
2 losses.

Vaughan opened strong in the first 25 minutes of the game then for the rest of the first half
play evened out.  I’d estimate they were called offside six times in the first half.  The second
half had the Panthers make the most of two out of their three early chances and left Vaughan
scrambling to catch up.

Best non-scoring chances were at 4 minutes when VA Sarah Won-Yin Sang rolled a ball up the middle
from 25 yards and VA Aisha Lewis took a low shot from 15 yards that was stopped point blank
at 10 yards by the sliding goalie.  15 minutes had VA Alessia Mattucci chip a 25 yarder down the
middle that landed on top of the net.  29 minutes had NMP Oshay Lawes rush on the right and cross
from 10 yards along the end line and the goalie palmed the ball up and NMP Krista Cellucci headed
a 7 yarder on the left post just over the net.  54 minutes had NMP Lawes rushed on the right and
sent in a low cross from 15 yards near the end line and it was past one NMP player in the middle
but over to NMP Lewis on the left who shot a 5 yarder over the open net.  Oh well that was one
minute before their second goal.  88 minutes had VA Colleen Beesley take a low 20 yard shot from
the right that the goalie flew to the left to catch.

This was the first women’s game that I’ve seen this year.  Canada’s national team didn’t play
in Toronto in 2015 and their PanAm team were in Hamilton.

North Mississauga plays out of the Hershey Centre and I’ve found myself watching a Sigma FC game
earlier in the afternoon then leaving the field to drive to watch another League 1 Ontario men’s
game in another suburb/city instead of staying for their games.  This did seem strange as over
the years a women’s team had become my favourite (Toronto Lady Lynx) when they had such a good
record and were producing almost 50% of players for the national team.  I can say I liked them
more than the MLS Toronto FC back then.

Panthers are the only women’s team in the league that doesn’t have a corresponding men’s team.
They paired nicely with Sigma FC who don’t have a women’s program.  I congratulated Panther
president Trevor Bertrant after the game whom I hadn’t seen since a pre-season press conference
and he answered again that the team is ready to enter a men’s team next year.

Referee Niquita Amirkhanian gave out only one Yellow card that I noticed (against the Panthers
at 79 minutes) besides awarding the Penalty kick and hopefully was deaf to crowd heckling.
She also told Vaughan head coach Carmine Isacco off at 65 minutes for his repeated yelling
from the bench.  Isacco was here today rather than coaching the men’s team who lost for the
first time this season and whose game started an hour earlier a few miles up the road in Maple.

Jivan Yacou of the Panthers won the MVP in the game and was given the game ball.  Both teams
were presented with medals after the game (Panthers were gold) and the Panthers were presented
with the Cup trophy—their team will be the first name engraved on it.

Panthers have family ties with sisters Kira Bertrand as the team captain and her sister
Kylee Bertrand as starters and their cousin Tifari Bertrand who was an unused sub.  I didn’t
realize to the next day that Trevor Bertrand is Kira’s father as I’d forgotten the team
president’s name.  Thanks post game Google research!

I’d never heard of any of the players on the rosters except Kodee Williams of Vaughan who
played on the Lady Lynx in 2010 and 2011 then the University of Wisconsin.   Another Google
search revealed that 11 out of the 18 Vaughan Azzurri players were on the York University 2014
team with Carmine Isacco as their head coach.  The Azzurri men’s team includes many York U players
so it wasn’t a complete surprize to me.

This stadium would host the men’s final between Woodbridge Strikers and Sigma FC about an hour
later which would be the third game of the day.  In a men’s league game at 11:00am, ANB Futbol beat
Sanjaxx Lions 5-0 with 15 year old (until later this month) Adonijah Reid scoring three goals
to take the scoring lead in the league.

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Robin Glover

Robin Glover

Robin has been writing about soccer in the Toronto area for message boards and his own website since the early 1990s in the days of 2400 baud modems to USENET sites. In the 2014 season he attended 76 games in various leagues that played in the GTA area.

Follow Robin on Twitter and on his website

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