Rocket Robin Report: Men’s & Women’s L1O Cup Finals

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Result and details of the Sunday August 6, 2017 League1 Ontario Women’s Cup Final between Woodbridge Strikers and FC London held at The Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 6:00pm.

The champions FC London with some of their fans. Photo by Robin Glover
The champions FC London with some of their fans. Photo by Robin Glover

12 min…FCL Ashley Campbell GOAL…FCL Jade Kovacevic rush on left rolls ball through box from 20 yards near 6 yard line. An FCL player in the middle misses but Campbell takes 12 yard shot from a tough angle on the right into left corner of net.

18 min…FCL Jade Kovacevic GOAL…Kovacevic on run on left cuts into middle at 18 yards and bends shot inwards into right corner of net.

45 min (2nd half)…FCL Ashley Campbell GOAL…Campbell with ball at 20 yards lofts shot into top left corner of net over goalie Alyssa Abernot.

72 min…FCL Marissa Oliviera GOAL…Oliviera recovers partial clearance at 25 yards in middle and blasts shot through crowd of players into top right corner of goal.

75 min…FCL sub…Alana Richardson replaces Emily Gillet in goal.

77 min…FCL Kaila Novak GOAL…Novak has shot from 15 yards on left blocked but recovers and gets rebound from nearly the same spot and shoots into top right corner.

82 min…WS Lindsay Appleton GOAL…WS Lauren Raimondo rolls 28 yard freekick from middle over to right. Appleton at 25 yards on right chips low cross that eludes goalie Alana Richardson and catches inside of left post on the bounce.

88 min…FCL Marissa Oliviera GOAL…Oliviera takes 50 yard chip shot that finds WS goalie out at 18 yards and ball bounces into net while chased by retreating goalie.

Final Score:…FC London……..6……Woodbridge Strikers……1…..

Attendance was about 250 on this mild mostly overcast day. The crowd was about 2 to 1 pro-London fans which was impressive because the city is about a four hour drive away.

This is the only L1O Women’s game I’ve attended this season. On the Men’s side including later tonight I’ve been to 33. With TFC and TFC II games I don’t have time to write up anything more.   I did attend the Canadian Women’s National team when they beat Costa Rica back in June but I can’t say I’m an expert on the women’s side of this league.

London dominated possession and the Strikers rarely got within 30 yards of the FCL goal. Later some league and team officials were discussing this game as ‘Women against Girls’. Game sheets I was given just give a breakdown of ‘U-23’ (i.e. ‘Y’ or ‘N’).  London went with a roster of seven starters Not U-23s with four U-23s and all five on their bench were U-23s who all got into the action starting at 61 minutes. Woodbridge only had three players who were not U-23s and two of those started on the bench.

The MVP for the game was awarded to FCL Denise Fortin for her strong midfield play.

Referee Kim Lee (a woman) gave out only one Yellow card (to Woodbridge) that I noticed and that was not until well into second half injury time. Usually by the third WS pass, London had regained possession.

I read stories on the L1O website each week about London and see midfielder Jade Kovacevic mentioned often. No wonder as she has 20 goals in 11 games! I remember her from going to Toronto Lady Lynx games in the now defunct W-League. After this game I asked her if she used to commute all the way from London for every game. She answered me that she was from Georgetown and later moved to London to attend Fanshawe College. She has graduated now in Business Marketing and still lives there. (Georgetown is about one hour’s drive north west of Toronto).

I also kept thinking I knew the name Ashley Campbell from somewhere. At home I realized I’d followed her three years of Lady Lynx seasons—2012 to 2014 (Kovacevic was just 2013 that I could find). Both players played for the Canadian U-20 team but now at age 23 and 24 are forgotten about. However with the Canadian Women’s team ranked third or fourth in the world, I’m going to sit back and not make any suggestions.

In regular L1O league play, London has a record of 7 wins, 2 losses, 2 ties for 23 points and second place—actually in a three way tie but with games in hand on the two other teams. They are on a seven game unbeaten streak since the middle of June. Hmm Ashley Campbell’s first game was June 23 so I’m sure that’s part of the reason! FCL is tied for best defence only allowing nine goals.

Woodbridge has a record of 5 wins, 6 losses, 2 ties for 17 points and are in eighth of the eleven team league.

First place team is North Mississauga Panthers 7 wins, 1 loss, 4 ties for 25 points. NMP is the other team that has only allowed nine goals.

I got marooned on the east side of the field for the men’s game waiting for game rosters as the L1O Men’s Cup Final started right after the Women’s trophy presentation.

Result and details of the Sunday August 6, 2017 League1 Ontario Men’s Cup Final between Woodbridge Strikers and Vaughan Azzurri played at The Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 8:30pm.

Woodbridge Strikers players with the Cup trophy. Photo by Robin Glover.
Woodbridge Strikers players with the Cup trophy. Photo by Robin Glover.

2 min…VA Brandon John GOAL…VA Jarek Whiteman touches ball at 18 yards in middle tapping ball back to John and he shoots 22 yarder that banks in off the bar on the top right corner away from goalie Quillan Roberts.

27 min…WS Emmanuel Issac GOAL…WS Christian Cavallini rolls pass from 28 yards on far left and Issac shoots 22 yarder from left into top right corner of net.

58 min…WS James Baker GOAL…WS Dylan Carreiro cross from 25 yards on left has Baker head 8 yarder forward and just under bar on right side of goal well away from goalie Andrew D’Souza.

59 min…VA RED card…Joseph Di Chiara earns his second Yellow card (first at 40 minutes) from referee John Vlahos for a delayed call of a sliding tackle.

73 min…WS Emmanuel Issac GOAL…WS Luca Baldassarre rolls pass from 22 yards on left on run and Issac rolls 12 yard shot into right side of net.

Final Score:…Woodbridge Strikers…….3….Vaughan Azzurri…..1…

Attendance was about 250 but not really an overlapping crowd although that would be possible as the Strikers women’s team had just finished their Cup final game less than half hour before. London fans would have been on their four hour drive home by the start of this game. Woodbridge would be considered the home team by geography at least as their home ground is only about the length of three football fields away.

This game was really rough with lots of tough tackles. Vaughan was out-carded three to one by referee John Vlahos in the first half. With that and two goals there was no added time given which drew complaints from Vaughan players as they were on a break upfield. Vlahos had to put up with complaining from players and their benches. There was even a time at 19 minutes when there was an extra ball had rolled into the middle of the field close to the edge of the WS box that just sat there as action continued around it.

Those early cards came back to haunt Vaughan as Joseph Di Chiara drew a second Yellow a minute after WS James Baker’s goal which gave WS the lead and really restricted Vaughan’s ability to mount a comeback. Vaughan had to open up the game even more and that resulted in another WS goal and then at one time a 3 on 0 WS break which was had the defender get back in time and stop Dylan Carreiro.

I think the final card count was four Yellows and a Red for Vaughan and three for Woodbridge including two non-violent ones –Issac for pulling his shirt off after his second goal and goalie Roberts for time wasting.

My thanks to announcer Ari Sokora—the voice of Oakville Blue Devils—I could keep up with the cards and player subs. Also the WS players for helping me fill in the assists on the goals. Those goals were quick and the stadium lighting wasn’t the brightest.

Woodbridge had more chances with a man advantage but Vaughan never gave up. Even at 88 minutes VA Jarek Whiteman blasted a 25 yard shot from the slight left that hit the top of the bar on the right side of the net.

A few guys were missing. Midfielder Oscar Cordon joined the WS celebration wearing a track suit. He said he had a knee injury and couldn’t play. On the Azzurri, ex-TFC midfielder Chris Mannella wasn’t on the roster nor was forward Thomas Skublak who got the whole tournament started months ago with a first round three goal performance against Toronto Skillz.

Woodbridge wins the L1O League Cup for the second time in the years of the league. Vaughan has won it the other two years. The two teams met last year with Vaughan winning 1-0. The first two years these two teams defeated Sigma FC (Vaughan in the inaugural 2014 season at BMO Field—the only time the final has not been played at Ontario Soccer Centre).

This was a mixed results day for a lot of the teams here—win some, lose some. The day started at 8:30am and eventually held six games. Games were 90 minutes but ties went straight to Penalty kicks. The OPDL Cup were the first four.

Results of the day were:

  • OPDL U-16 Girls Burlington Youth 1 Aurora FC 1
    Burlington won in Pks.
  • OPDL U-16 Boys Vaughan 4 Hamilton United 0
  • OPDL U-15 Girls Ottawa South United 1 Vaughan 1
    Ottawa SU won 3-1 on Pks.
  • OPDL U-15 Boys Durham United 0 West Ottawa 0
    Durham won 5-4 on Pks. (I arrived late in the second half so got
    to see the extra round).
  • League1 Ontario Women FC London 6 Woodbridge 1

Strange about the Ottawa teams is they both entered L1O this year and with restrictions that all new teams can enter only one team when they join. Ottawa South has only an L1O Men’s team and West Ottawa has only an L1O Women’s team this season. Perhaps when these teenagers are older there will be a club team for their gender in L1O.

Now Wednesday it’s back to regular season play and the only game scheduled is—Vaughan hosting Woodbridge. Yellow cards from cup games shouldn’t cross over to league games. I don’t know if tempers will have cooled by then!

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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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