Redeemer soccer teams have rough season start

royalsOn a day when things didn’t seem to go Redeemer’s way, the women’s and men’s soccer teams dropped their Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season openers to the Sheridan Bruins at the Royals soccer complex in Ancaster.

The day began with a torrential downpour minutes before the kickoff of the women’s game. The rain led to a very soggy first half which saw neither team able to develop any rhythm offensively. The teams entered halftime at 0-0.

As the teams settled down in the second half and weather conditions improved, the Bruins were first to find their scoring touch with a goal in the 58th minute. Kendra Cooper buried one past Redeemer’s Keeper Grace Berkel (Simcoe) to take a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins increased their lead less than 10 minutes later when Jackie Hart scored from well outside the 18-yard box.

While the Royals struggled to pose a threat offensively, they played very consistently at the back. Berkel made a number of key saves in net early in the second half and first year Elli Reitsma (Goderich) cleared a ball off the goal line in the 71st minute that was headed for the back of the net.

The game stood at 2-0 up until the end as the Bruins stole the win from the Royals on opening day.

Head coach Caell Huyer summed up the day saying, “I thought we played hard today. I think we played with passion but we didn’t play as a team. Because of that we created holes and had little support.”

The Royals were heavily outshot in the match and had difficulty creating quality scoring opportunities.

“We did a decent job transitioning to defense but were not able to transition up the field and create chances,” said Huyer.

After a successful preseason that saw the men’s team post a 2-1 record under the guidance of new head coach Kyle Grootenboer, the Royals took a step back in their season opener with a 6-1 loss to Sheridan.

Photo: Redeemer Athletics

The Royals knew they would be in tough against the perennial powerhouse Bruins. The Royals showed some hope when rookie Lewis Tuininga (Orillia) put the Royals on the board in the 20th minute to tie the game at 1-1. However, Sheridan was able to wear Redeemer down as the game progressed.

Goals in the 40th (Nicholas Lindsay) and 43rd minutes (David Velastegui) by the Bruins put the Royals at a 3-1 deficit heading into the half.

From that point, both teams played a scoreless 40 minutes before Sheridan put the game out of reach with a goal in the 81st (Lindsay) minute. The Bruins added two more goals in the 83rd minute (Matthew Santos) and 90th (Lindsay) minute for the 6-1 win.

In his first league game as the bench boss for the Royals, Grootenboer was very honest saying, “It was an eye opener. It is good to see where we need to be in order to compete with the top teams in this league. It’s a good team that we played against today and that’s where we need to get to.”

Both teams will look to rebound as they have a few days off before returning to the field on Wednesday night. The women’s team plays at 4:30 p.m. at the Royals Sports Complex and the men’s team follows at 6:30 p.m.