Richview girls advance with win on local savannah

Tall grass aside, Saints dominate game to ride Mustangs out of the playoffs

Richview’s varsity girls soccer team kicked Downsview Mustangs out of the playoffs with their 4-1 victory in AA quarter-final action, May 18.

At times the scene on the field resembled a safari more than a soccer match. Both squads dealt with tall grass after a week’s worth of rain prevented the pitch from being mowed.

Early in the game, a Richview penalty kick failed to make it to the net due to the overgrown grass.

Tending the field aside, the Saints maintained possession for the majority of the match on an otherwise sunny, windy day, coach Ria Dinadis said.

“We played an outstanding game,” she said. “It was difficult because of the long grass, but we definitely were able to outshine and we showed our skill.”

Outshine Richview did as they spent much of the first half in front of Downsview’s net.

Mustangs goalie, Salma Ahmad, coped with several crosses before a long range shot from Richview’s Carly Sythes found the back of the net.

Toward the end of the second half the Saints seemed to fade and Downsview began applying pressure on Richview’s defence.

The Mustang’s Unique Burton dribbled the ball past defenders to earn a breakaway. A questionable tackle by a Richview defender broke the play up and the referee made no call. Minutes later, Cassandra Nofuente was brought down in Richview’s box and converted off the ensuing penalty kick to the tie score at one going into halftime.

Post break, Richview came out strong, sending a flurry of shots Ahmad’s way. Ahmad handled the pressure well although one save could be attributed to the crossbar.

Downsview coach Lia Murphy had high praise for her goaltender despite the loss.

“She just really shines every game and she’s not afraid of the ball,” Murphy said after the game. “She’s able to help coach the girls that are on defence and she has really, really quick reaction time.”

Richview regained the lead after Alex Vloggianitis was able to send a shot into an opening in the bottom right corner of the net. The Saints kept up the pressure and a perfectly placed corner kick by Kristian Kletke was headed in by Tatiana Dziemianko to make the score 3-1.

The final bit of action came after Sythes tapped in a cross off her chest for her second goal of the game.

The loss was Downsview’s first of the season. Heading into the game they had a record of five wins and two draws. In addition to the overgrown field, fatigue was a factor in Downsview’s performance as members of the soccer team attended a track and field meet earlier in the day.

“I think we were getting tired,” Murphy said. “We had several of our players at a track meet earlier today as well so a little bit of overuse, injuries, as well as just getting tired out there.”

Richview, whose regional final was cancelled the previous day due to rain, was looking forward to continuing their unbeaten season at home against Oakwood later that week. Dinadis said her team would have to win that match in order to qualify for OFSAA.

“We hope to make OFFSAA this year because we lost in the finals last year,” she said. “We’ve got a phenomenal team and this is our year to shine.”

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By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Jun 6 2011 9:18 am
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto