The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
By STEPHEN DYELL Staff Writer The women of the pitch got their first taste of indoor soccer action for 2009. The Knights participated in two tournaments over the past two weekends at the Conestoga College Invitational in Kitchener and the George Brown College Classic in Scarborough. They finished with three wins, three losses and two draws, but they came out with plenty of experience. “We are slowly gelling into a force defensively, starting with our strikers pressuring high,” Coach Frank DeChellis stated. “Our players are buying into the system and are succeeding in winning the ball back as a team.” Scorers in the tournament were Sylvia VanDriel, Allison Waddell, Kristen Campbell, Jessica James, Mallory Cook and Sarah Pizzacalla while strikers Allison Wiseman, Katie Dutot and Vailey Crowley were all setting up their teammates with great chances. Those chances on offence were equalled on defence as goaltender Daniela Fortino played solid throughout the tournament. DeChellis stated that Fortino was lucky to have Sarah Regier, Krysta Lowe, Amanda Wilson, Kelly Slappendel and Kali Alcorn as they played great defensively. “The girls have put in a lot of work at training and they deserved the successes they had,” DeChellis said. “Right now, they are competing for playing time at Regionals and are responding well to that pressure.” They will have some time to regroup as the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Regionals take place on March 11. The Knights will have to face defending champions Fanshawe College as they are in their qualifying group along with Redeemer University College, Conestoga College and Algoma College. The top two teams will advance to OCAA provincials March 26 and 27 at the Ontario Soccer Centre. The women are ready. “With every passing game we see signs of us become a dangerous team to play. As long as everybody tows the company line we’ll be very competitive,” Campbell states. “We need to communicate more in the back if we’re going to give Daniela a chance to succeed when it counts. If Daniela walks off the field happy, we’re OK,” VanDriel stated. They will look to their goalkeeper Fortino to set the pace. Her hands and feet will be the difference between an early trip home, or a successful trip to the winner’s circle.