It was a very gritty effort, but the 1-1 draw with Redeemer on Monday (Oct. 7) in Ancaster meant the Royals advance to post-season play and the Mohawk Mountaineers do not.
Mohawk, minus four suspended players and with only three substitutes, took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Venroy Baird made a nice move from deep on the left side then took a great shot, low into the far corner.
The Mountaineers looked like they might make it all the way to the end with all of their endeavour, but they missed some very good chances to get a second goal. And Redeemer’s Zach Kingma made them pay dearly, as he pounced on a loose ball after a mix-up in the Mohawk area and put his team on even terms.
That’s all the Royals needed to advance to a qualifying game, while the Mountaineers came up short, even though they frantically tried to move in front again.
Assistant coach Anthony Giaitsiz, who ran the team in the absence of head coach Richard Bennett, was very proud of his team.
“We asked them to step up and do us proud and that’s exactly what they did,” said Giaitsiz. “It was unfortunate we conceded that one goal on a bit of a mistake, but we created a lot of chances but we weren’t able to put them away. That’s just reality. It finished 1-1 and that just wasn’t good enough. Redeemer needed the point. Congratulations to them. They deserved it.”
The Mohawk women whitewashed Redeemer, 5-0. The Mountaineers got two goals from Rachelle DeJong sandwiched around one from Shari Leavitt, all in the first 15 minutes and led 3-0 at the half. Paige Dugay scored in the 55th minute and Kaleigh Russell also counted 10 minutes later. Jenn Lynch picked up the shutout.
Mountaineers’ co-head Coach Michael Castellani said his team did a great job, especially coming off a tough loss at Fanshawe two nights earlier, when they could not hold onto a 1-0 lead.
“They came into today with a different mindset,” said Castellani. “And a 5-0 result is exactly where the players wanted to be today,”
With the victory Mohawk now moves on to a qualifying match with Conestoga on Saturday (Oct. 12) at 1 p.m. in Kitchener.