Black Knights coach reveres Barons for providing his charges their toughest battle of the season
Malvern Black Knights sought dry land during their varsity girls soccer game against the Barons.
Playing at Oakwood CI on a field ravaged by past rugby tilts, the ladies had to alter their gameplan midway through the first half to ensure a 2-0 victory May 4.
For winger Camille Larouche, the chance of breaking the tie for Malvern in the second half via an Emma Finley corner kick was relieving.
“Normally, it’s the first half (when) you can tell who’s dominating but you could tell it was pretty even until we scored that goal,” she said post game.
Her coach John Seeley agreed, adding the field conditions and wind gusts proved to be a challenge.
“I felt the ball was holding up a lot and we do a lot of short passes and I was finding they weren’t going especially with the mud,” he said. “Also, you could see in the first half we were really under pressure, they had us pinned in because of the slant (of the field) and the wind.”
For added insurance, Natalie Anderson would pop another Finley pass behind Barons goalie Hannah Runge late in the second half.
Oakwood midfielder Chenoa Koke commended her teammate Runge for keeping the team in the game.
“Our goalie played amazing and it’s only her second time in net,” she said. “She stepped up for our team.”
The muddy field also provided a challenge, Koke admitted.
“Fighting for it in the mud is kind of like ping pong, back and forth because you can’t make it move anywhere.”
Still, for Barons coach David Blakey it was the best game he’s seen his girls play all year.
“We’ve had a tough season so far, we’re AA and we were watching Malvern’s record,” he said. “We saw that they were in first place and we knew we were going to be in hard.”
On the mend for Oakwood is Julia Kreiner. After tearing 20 percent of her Achilles tendon she’s slowly building back and will be a big boost if Oakwood is to make AA OFSAA.
Playing a passionate game on the field is important to her as the team learns to fly on new wings.
“We had a pretty solid team last year,” she said. “We’re just looking to do well in playoffs and hopefully make AA OFSAA.”
With the win, Malvern stays undefeated at 5-0 and atop the South Region varsity girls Tier 1 division. Their next two matches will prove tough as they’re up against the second and third place teams Leaside and Lawrence Park.
Seeley commended a great effort by the Barons.
“They’re a very good team,” he said. “I was a bit surprised by their standings — the way they played today, I don’t think they should be where they are in the league.”
Oakwood, who has yet to get a win, sits in a tie for last place with Northern at 0-6. They hope to remedy that standing May 9 against the Red Knights.