Sports High School Sports

Erika Ringhofer scores game’s only goal in battle of Barrie schools to open soccer season

By Stephen Sweet, Special to Postmedia Network

Calista Henry of the St. Peter’s Panthers senior girls soccer team take possession of the ball from Meaghan Amaral of the St. Joseph’s Jaguars during high-school soccer action Monday at St. Peter's Catholic Secondary School in south-end Barrie. MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

Calista Henry of the St. Peter’s Panthers senior girls soccer team take possession of the ball from Meaghan Amaral of the St. Joseph’s Jaguars during high-school soccer action Monday at St. Peter's Catholic Secondary School in south-end Barrie. MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

The St. Peter's Panthers started their season once again with a win.

Their overall gameplay, though, left something to be desired.

It was mixed emotions after the senior girls soccer team edged the St. Joseph's Jaguars 1-0 in the spring opener on Monday.

“I think we were sleeping today,” said Panthers defender Isabella Di Giulio. “We are capable of doing better, but we need to work on our passing. Some of our touches on the ball today were just kicking it away, which we shouldn't do.

“We could have played much better.”

For a squad that lost in the Georgian Bay Secondary School Association championship a year ago, expectations are always high.

“Last year, we definitely choked in GB's, so this year, our expectation is definitely making OFSAA,” said Panthers playmaker Sydney Livermore. “We're not a team that takes losing lightly.

“We want to get to the highest level and we want to compete.”

That was why they were frustrated when, throughout much of the first half, the Panthers were being outplayed by the Jaguars.

Victoria Picanco led Kaleigh Pinkney with a great ball through the middle, but the St. Joseph's attempt was denied by Panthers goalkeeper Santana Ferreira.

The netminder would have to be sharp again a few minutes later, coming out and challenging Jaguars striker Saoirse Canney, who had slipped past the defenders.

“The first half, I thought it was going to be more of us having the possession, and going into the half, we had to get our stuff together,” Livermore said. “It was a rude awakening to know that we couldn't just walk through teams as much as we hoped we could.”

The Panthers would gradually push the ball forward, and would take the lead in the 23rd minute when Kayla Cormier picked off the St. Joseph's goalkeeper's clearing attempt and set up Erika Ringhofer for a low strike and 1-0 advantage.

But a combination of having had a limited time out on the grass, as well as playing on a field that had been very chewed up in the middle third, kept St. Peter's from getting much else going in the first 40 minutes.

“It was rough,” Livermore said. “Our coach said we're getting our feet wet. It was hard to start out much because we still had snow on the ground two weeks ago and we've had players out.

“We haven't had our touch, since we've been in the gym.”

The second half saw the Panthers start to gel a little more.

Livermore would set up Rebecca Cano a few minutes in before the Grade 11 student had a few chances of her own.

Despite the improved pressure, Livermore and the Panthers could not strike.

“I'm upset that I couldn't spark the team, but eventually, I'll stop hitting field goals and put one in the net,” said Livermore with a laugh. “You have good days and bad days but you've just got to keep your head up.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, like Wayne Gretzky said, so you've got to keep taking them even if it's frustrating, and eventually, you'll get one in and the others will start to follow.”

The second half saw a stronger performance at both ends of the field for the Panthers, who feel they have something to build off of now.

“You can really see the potential that we have as a team,” Di Giulio said. “We have a great group of girls and really good chemistry.

“We always work our hardest, we don't give up and our will for the game is there,” Di Giulio added. “We all have heart and play to the best of our abilities.”

It was another clean sheet for the Panthers, who carry that expectation with them into every game.

“Our defence is really strong,” Di Giulio said. “We've always had a really good defence, so not to let their attackers get in there is a big deal to us.”

If they continue to build and improve from Monday's contest, the Panthers could find themselves with another opportunity to play to get into the provincial championship in a month's time.

“We really want to go to OFSAA,” Di Giulio said. “It was taken from us last year, so I think this year it's a really big opportunity for us to try and take it.

“We want to win every single game.”

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Sydney Livermore: It was rough. Our coach said we're getting our feet wet. It was hard to start out much because we still had snow on the ground two weeks ago and we've had players out. We haven't had our touch, since we've been in the gym. It's not the way we wanted it to go, we thought we would come out stronger, but it's just stuff to improve on. At least we got the win.

The first half, I thought it was going to be more of us having the possession, and going into the half, we had to get our stuff together. It was a rude awakening to know that we couldn't just walk through teams as much as we hoped we could.

I'm upset that I couldn't spark the team, but eventually, I'll stop hitting field goals and put one in the net. You have good days and bad days but you've just got to keep your head up. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so you've got to keep taking them even if it's frustrating, and eventually, you'll get one in and the others will start to follow.

Last year, we definitely choked in GB's, so this year, our expectation is definitely making OFSAA. We're not a team that takes losing lightly. We want to get to the highest level and we want to compete. We'll start winning games by bigger scores, get to GB's and go from there. One step at a time.

Isabella Di Giulio: I think we were sleeping today. We are capable of doing better, but we need to work on our passing. Some of our touches on the ball today were just kicking it away, which we shouldn't do. We could have played much better.

Our defence is really strong. We've always had a really good defence, so not to let their attackers get in there is a big deal to us.

Today shouldn't reflect our season.

You can really see the potential that we have as a team. We have a great group of girls and really good chemistry. We always work our hardest, we don't give up and our will for the game is there. We all have heart and play to the best of our abilities.

We really want to go to OFSAA. It was taken from us last year, so I think this year it's a really big opportunity for us to try and take it. We want to win every single game.

The best thing is communication. You need to be able to communicate well with all of the girls, and I think everyone getting along really helps. We're like a family and we don't have problems with anybody, so that helps with everyone switching on and off but staying intact. 



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