This past weekend, the League1 Ontario Cataraqui Clippers held their home opener down at the St. Lawrence College field on Saturday with a 5pm kickoff. The Clippers' OYSL team continued their fight in the U17 division. Kingston FC played a pair of games out of town split between Milton and North York. And finally, the Kingston United women play up in Ottawa this evening.
The Cataraqui Clippers were also hosting the West Rouge Storm at the Invista Centre for a U17 OYSL clash just after 2pm Saturday. I was acting as the first assistant referee for this game, one marked by a fair bit of physical play from two teams trying to find their first win of the season. Clippers were playing quite short as a number of their players were playing with Holy Cross SS in the OFSAA AAA tournament in North Bay, where they came away with a bronze medal, finishing behind St. Michael and Corpus Christi. Holy Cross finished second in their pool despite losing their first two games, and lost on penalties to the eventual winners, St. Michael, after a high scoring 3-3 game.
The OYSL game finished 1-0 for West Rouge on a bit of a scrappy goal late in the game. Unfortunately, one of the Clippers players was injured in a collision with one of the West Rouge fullbacks, and another was dismissed from the game in the dying seconds. Despite that, Clippers had several fantastic chances throughout the game, and were unlucky to give up the goal and take the loss.
My writeup of the game for the League1 Ontario site covers most of the game. I was able to work with the officiating crew of the game in my reporting role, sitting near the fourth official. As such, I was able to hear the interactions between the officials, the teams, and be on top of substititions, game incidents, and otherwise. It was a fascinating experience, especially from an amateur referee's point of view. I'd worked with two of the game's officials previously too. Brian Butler was AR1, and he worked through a portion of his officiating career locally before moving up to Toronto a few years back. Armando Pereira worked as the fourth official, and he and I had both refereed the other when we both played in the TSSL a number of years ago. Scott Decker (referee) and Alex Themistocleous (AR2) rounded out the officiating crew.
The game finished 1-1 between the two teams and featured a number of cautions, but no dismissals. Marco Rodriguez, captain of TFC Academy, scored on a nice 35-yard free kick just inside the 20th minute to give his team a 1-0 lead. In the 62nd minute Oliver Coren restored the deadlock, scoring on a penalty kick. After the match, Coren stated that he wanted to score the first goal for the team and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to do so. Clippers coach Chris Eveleigh commented that he was proud of his team when they came out fighting in the second half and how they kept their heads up after giving up the goal. On the other bench, head coach Michael Stefano made the comment that his goals with the TFC Academy team were long-term and that the maturity, inexperience, and youth of his squad in comparison with Clippers was something that played a large role in the game.
Clippers play their next game this Friday night at 8:30pm at the Invista Centre in a cup match against ANB Futbol, a team they will also play on Sunday in Vaughan at the OSA's Soccer Centre at 6pm in league play. The cup game will be the first of four with the second coming on Friday, August 1st at 8:30pm at St. Lawrence College vs Internacional De Toronto before playing away on Thursday, August 7th at 8:30pm at the Oshawa Civic Stadium against Durham FC and finally Saturday, September 27th at 1pm at the KIA Training Ground against the TFC Academy.
Tonight, the Kingston United Premier Women head up to Ottawa to play Ottawa South United at Lytle Park West with an 8:30pm kickoff. The women are looking to rebound from a disappointing 3-2 loss to Gloucester United last weekend in their home opener. They are also working to arrange a