Jags put a minor dent in Cards soccer shield

soccer_fullIt was a goal the Cardinal Newman Cardinals didn’t mind surrendering.

As the referee’s watch ticked down to the final few minutes of Tuesday’s (May 21) Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association senior girls’ soccer quarter-final, Newman enjoyed a comfortable 7-0 lead over the ACMT Jaguars at Heritage Green Park. That’s when Sabrina Turcotte scored for the Jaguars, snapping a season-long shutout streak for the Cardinals and goalkeeper Caprice Major. The defending champions from Newman went almost eight full games without giving up a goal.

“I ran for (the ball) and had a collision with the goalie,” Turcotte said of the Jaguars’ scoring play. “It kind of ended in my favour and we scored. Her kick hit my body.”

Turcotte and Caroline Owchar, who got an assist on the marker, were surprised at Newman’s perfect defensive record.

“I didn’t know that,” Turcotte said with a smile.

While it was obviously disappointing for Major and company to yield a late goal, in terms of the big picture, striker Kristen Farkas says it might be a good thing for Newman.

“It was the first goal we let in all season,” Farkas said. “We needed that, so in the playoffs we know how to recover from it.”

Farkas, 17, and teammate Andrea Petrina each played the first 30 minutes before being replaced by substitutes. While they were on the field, however, they each scored a pair of goals. Maia DeGraff, Alessia Marchese and Chelsea Clifford also scored for the first-place Cardinals.

“I think we played really well,” said Farkas, the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year at Newman, who should receive consideration for that honour again this year. Here’s why: She’s already competed in field hockey, basketball, volleyball (league champions), indoor soccer, badminton (an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations participant), and outdoor soccer.

In addition, before Thursday’s soccer semi-final, Farkas and her doubles partner Meagan Miotto are entered in Wednesday’s Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference tennis championships in Burlington.

A Grade 12 student, Farkas also competes in the Ontario Youth Soccer League for the St. Catharines Jets. She plans on returning to Newman for at least part of next year and hopes to land a U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association soccer scholarship.

Other quarter-finals in girls’ soccer saw three shutouts – Brebeuf 5-0 over Cathedral; St. Mary 6-0 over Bishop Ryan; and Bishop Tonnos 1-0 over St. Thomas More (penalty kicks).

Tonnos and Newman battle Thursday at 2:15.p.m., at Heritage Green in one semi-final, while St. Mary and Brebeuf tangle at 2:45 p.m. at McMaster’s Alumni Field in the other.

In the second half of the doubleheader at Heritage Green on Tuesday, the Newman senior boys’ soccer team – the CN Express – rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Jaguars from Academie Catholique Mere-Teresa.

In the last meeting between the two teams, ACMT won 3-1.

“I’m encouraged,” said coach Gerry Moretuzzo whose Newman squad has been slowed by injuries and a suspension this season.

The Express raced to a 3-0 halftime lead and increased it to 4-0 before David Owchar of the Jaguars had time and space to blast a high shot past goalkeeper Phil Gillen.

Newman got two goals by Patrick Ciaramella, while Marcus DiLoreto, Anton Buretic and Tirus Mingo added one apiece. It appeared to many that Ciaramella’s low shot just before the intermission ripped through a hole in the net to put Newman up 4-0. However, the officials examined the net and ruled no goal.

Ciaramella then scored the prettiest goal of the day in the second half on a free kick from a sharp angle. Said Moretuzzo: “He’s the guy who scored the so-called no goal. The fourth goal that went into the net – there’s your retribution. What a beautiful shot. He picked the top corner.”

Moretuzzo also praised the performance of Buretic, who dominated in the first half from the outside.

“He struggled last week against these guys,” Moretuzzo said of Buretic. “We had him in the middle. He’s the type of player that needs space. He was fantastic in the first half today. He set up goals and created so much pressure. He made them change their formation.”

In other HWCAA senior boys’ quarter-final soccer action, Bishop Tonnos edged the Bishop Ryan Celtics, 1-0, and Brebeuf nipped Cathedral, 3-2. First-place St. Thomas More had a first-round bye.

Semi-finals Thursday match Brebeuf and More (3:30 p.m., at More) and Newman against Tonnos (Mac Alumni Field, 4:15 p.m.).