The St. Peter Knights senior girls soccer team went to the OFSAA provincial ‘AAA’ soccer championships hoping to win a gold medal. Unfortunately, they had to settle for silver after losing to St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School from Hamilton in overtime.
|Team roster: Paige Robert, Claire Rea, Alexis Virgo, Riley Bonadie, Jessica Boyle, Ava Singh, Rowyn Serne, Peyton Fairchild, Arianna Navarro, Leticia Palomino, Rania DeMone, Jaidyn Février, Katie Fong, Vanessa Wynn, Brooke Murphy, Jaia Fullerton, Vanessa Zapata and Peyton Wynn. Co-coaches Ben Markatti and Bobby Begin.
The two teams battled each other to a 0-0 tie in regulation as neither squad was able to effectively penetrate the other team’s defence.
The first 10 minutes of extra time played out the same as the first 90, as did the first five minutes of the second extra session. Then with five minutes left in extra time,
St. Thomas More took advantage of a rare breakdown in St. Peter’s defence to score the golden goal for the championship win.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Knights, who were totally dominant for most of the tournament, outscoring their opponents 20-1 through the first six games including a 4-0 win over Brooklin High School from Whitby in the semi-finals.
The Knights went into the tournament seeded sixth despite the fact that three of their players have already signed scholarships to play Division 1 soccer in the United States next year and two others are committed to play CIS soccer on this side of the border.
The three players heading south of the border next fall are Riley Bonadie (Louisiana Tech); Jessica Boyle (Charleston Southern); Clair Rea (University of Alabama Birmingham); and Peyton Fairchild (Northern Vermont).
Alexis Virgo is going to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. and keeper Paige Robert will beheading off to Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke.
The Knights went into the provincial championships on a high after winning the National Capital ‘AAA’ title 2-1 over the St. Mother Teresa Titans on May 26 to cap a 5-0-2 record through the regular season and the opening game of the playoffs.
The two ties were actually awarded to them for games that weren’t played. The first tie was awarded to them and their would-be opponents from Glebe when the latter didn’t have enough players to field a team. The second tie was awarded to St. Peter after their second scheduled game against Glebe was canceled in the aftermath of the storm that swept across the region on May 21.
All five Grade 12 players on the Knights were part of the team that won a bronze medal at the 2019 OFSAA championships.
If not for the COVID-19 pandemic that wiped out the last two seasons, the Knights would have been serious contenders to win four straight city championships and earn four straight trips to the provincials.
It’s one of those “what if” scenarios that will stick with those Grade 12 players and Knights coach Ben Markatti for a very long time. “Could we have contended for more medals? I’d like to think so,” Markatti ponders when asked. “Unfortunately, we’ll never know.”