By Larry Moko
Bishop Ryan Celtics coach Josie Petitti had some deep thoughts after playing the Cardinal Newman Cardinals Thursday.
“They have depth that we just don’t have,” Petitti said of the Cardinals, who captured the 2017 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association senior girls’ soccer championship with a 3-0 victory over the visitors from Bishop Ryan.
The result capped an undefeated season for the first-place Cardinals, who topped the St. Thomas More Knights 3-0 in recent semifinal action. Second-place Bishop Ryan took its semifinal, 1-0 over the St. Mary Crusaders.
“Newman has a lot of key players that really shake things up,” Petitti said. “They’re always a good program and the team to beat. We’re happy to be here with them.”
Newman got the only goal of the first half. It was scored by Abby Richeson on a cross from Brianna Mascia.
“There was two defenders,” centre-forward Mascia said of the play. “I just cut in on both and knew I could beat them. Then I saw Abby on the left side and passed her the ball. She took a one-time shot.”
Maddison Burnet and Richeson got goals one minute apart to complete the scoring.
“We’ve attacked well and defended well all season,” Mascia said. “We connect well in the middle and we send balls through very nicely.
“We pressure hard and fight as a team.”
Newman only won the regular-season meeting with Bishop Ryan by one goal (3-2) and the Celtics held a 2-1 lead in that contest.
“It’s a great feeling,” Newman’s centre midfielder Claudia D’Angelo said of the team’s second consecutive HWCAA title. “We all worked so well together. It was awesome. We were moving the ball as one unit and everyone was getting back to defend.”
Defending OFSAA Triple A champions in girls’ soccer, the Cardinals will take on the visiting Bishop Reding Royals in a Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference semifinal Thursday. The Celtics also have a GHAC semifinal Thursday in Oakville against the Holy Trinity Titans.
The GHAC final goes Friday, May 26.
“I’m happy we’re still moving on in championship play,” the Celtics coach said. “We have a lot of talent.”