By Ian Shalapata
(PETERBOROUGH, ON) – The Saints women’s soccer team advanced to the OCAA provincial championship in Peterborough this past weekend. They started off round 1 with a match-up against the host Fleming Knights.
In a wild opening two minutes, St Clair’s striker Bella Riccardi scored 30 seconds into the game, but Fleming drew even a minute later. Riccardi then tallied two more goals to put the Saints up 3-1 at the half.
Melanie Daniel then extended the lead in the 68th minute, but Fleming wasn’t quite out of it when the scored to cut it to 4-2. Daniel then completed her hat trick on the night to round out the scoring for the 6-2 win.
St Clair then drew Seneca in Round 2 with the winner scheduled to advance to the finals. Defending OCAA gold medalists, the Sting relegated the Saints by a score of 2-1, with Riccardi scoring her 4th goal of the tournament. Despite applying the pressure in the final 20 minutes, the women could not force extra time.
With the loss, St Clair faced Cambrian Golden Shield for the bronze medal Saturday afternoon. After a scoreless 1st Half, the Saints notched the first goal in the 53rd minute with a strike by Sam Greier. Nina Civitarese made it 2-0 15 minutes later and was followed by Daniel’s 4th marker in the 71st.
Carly Malenfant put the game well out of reach shortly before full time as Katrina Arnold kept a clean sheet for St Clair.
The bronze medal was the first placement for the Saints women in the past 16 years of outdoor soccer.