Jessie Noseworthy was all smiles after the national female under-18 soccer match, although she was worried about missing her team’s post-game meeting.
If she did miss the meeting, it would be the only thing she missed Thursday. Noseworthy scored a career-high four goals — all in the second half — to pace St. John’s to a
6-0 win over the Mount Pearl U16s at King George V Park.
After a first half where the favoured St. John’s side basically played footsie with the ball, the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives turned it around with five goals in eight minutes early in the second half.
Asked what coach Jake Stanford’s reaction was after the scoreless first half, Noseworthy said, “He yelled a lot.”
And who could blame him. St. John’s frittered away numerous scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes despite dominating the match against the younger Mount Pearl side.
The provincial reps held on to the ball too long, their passing decisions were often questionable and their shots, which they had lots of time to tee-up, went well wide or far over the net.
St. John’s dominated even more in the second half, but this time, perhaps inspired by their coach, they were obviously focused and not about to let three points slip away.
“We were frustrated in the first half because they were putting a lot of defence back on us,” said Noseworthy.
“We gradually started to wear them down and after we got the first goal it all started coming together.”
Noseworthy said it was important to defeat Mount Pearl.
“We know we have to win all our games to get the gold.”
Terri Murphy and Emily Bailey had the other St. John’s markers.
While Mount Pearl goalkeeper Janelle Forristall gave up six goals, she made several fine saves and was basically on her own over the last half of the match.
Her counterparts who shared time in the St. John’s net — Laura Whelan and Erin George — had little to do in posting the shutout.
Mount Pearl did have some ball possession in the first half, but St. John’s defenders Claire Skanes and Melissa Reid cut off or turned back all of the serious challenges.
St. John’s could have played without a backline in the second half.
The St. John’s forwards came at Mount Pearl in waves of red and the loser’s defence looked befuddled at times under the intense pressure.
Mount Pearl coach Sheldon Barry said he knew what his team was up against when it ventured into the tournament with older players.
“We knew what was coming,” Barry said after Thursday’s game.
“We were’ hoping for a wind change in the second half, but it never came,” he added with a laugh.
Barry said he felt his team played well at times.
‘We’re in a tough division and we’ve got some girls three or four years younger than players on the other teams, so I’m pleased with our effort.”
Barry said it was a “learning experience” for his team and sometimes you have to learn the hard way.
“You have to play every game for 90 minutes or you will get burned,” he said.
“It’s a two-year growing program for us,” he added. “You learn how to play tough and you learn what happens when you let down for 10 minutes. We can take some positives from this and get ready for our next game,” the Mount Pearl mentor said.
“We got in this tournament not because we thought we’d be champions, but for the experience,” Barry noted.
Mount Pearl’s next game is noon today against Alberta at Topsail Field.
St. John’s next game is noon Saturday against Alberta at Smallwood Park in Mount Pearl.
Other games Thursday
Manitoba 3, Prince Edward Island 1
Goal scorers: Manitoba: Megan Diamond (2), Veronica Kessler; P.E.I.: Julia MacSwain
Quebec 7, Saskatchewan 1
Goals scorers: Quebec: Alicia Lessard (2), Gabriela Cuerno Yensi, Vanessa Gregoire, Jamie Handfield,
Natasha Heki-Jamgotch, Kateri Rivard; Saskatchewan: Karly Smith
Ontario 2, Alberta 1
Goal scorers: Ontario: Veronica Johnson, Gabrielle Krebs; Alberta: Susan Traynor
(In St. John’s-Mount Pearl)
British Columbia 1, Ontario 0
Goal scorer: Edi Nyigwo-Bogere
Shutout: Hyun Jun Lee
Nova Scotia 3, Alberta 0
Goal scorers: Rory McParland, Cooper Coats, Alex Chan
Shutout: Alex Bakolias
New Brunswick 3, Saskatchewan 0
Goal scorers: Eric Kayanga (3)
Shutout: Justin Lirette
Manitoba 1 Quebec 1
Goal scorers: Manitoba: Spencer Blix; Quebec: Hamadi Camara
RESULTS FOR NEWFOUNDLAND TEAMS AT OTHER NATIONAL SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Douglas stars as St. Lawrence moves to verge
of playoffs at national Challenge Cup
The St. Lawrence Labatt Laurentians and Dunbrack from Nova Scotia played to a scoreless draw in national SportChek Challenge Cup soccer championship play in Halifax Thursday.
“It was pretty even in terms of chances,” said Laurentians coach Blair Aylward, “but we probably should have had a couple of goals. We probably outchanced them six to four overall.”
Aylward said goalkeeper John Douglas made three great saves in posting the shutout for the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives.
“John was exceptional. He stopped what should have been three goals,” noted the Laurentians coach.
“I think we would have deserved the win if we’d gotten it, but we’ll take the tie. We played pretty good for our first game, we started strong and had a couple of scoring chances in the first 15 minutes, but we couldn’t put it away.”
St. Lawrence is scheduled to play defending champion Quebec today. Dunbrack lost 3-1 to Quebec in the tournament opener Wednesday.
A Laurentian win, tie or a loss by one goal will put St. Lawrence into the quarter-finals. If the Laurentians lose by two goals, they will go into a tie-breaker system.
Meanwhile, Conception Bay South Holy Cross Kirby Group (0-1) is scheduled to play Quebec today in Halifax at the national Jubilee Trophy women’s soccer championship.
Results for Newfoundland and Labrador teams in national age-group soccer play Thursday:
Under-16 Girls (In Kamloops, B,C,)
British Columbia 3, Newfoundland and Labrador 2
NL goal scorers: Holly O'Neill, Morgan Fitzgerald
Under 14 Boys (In Lethbridge, Alta.)
British Columbia 5, Newfoundland and Labrador 0
Under-14 Girls (In Lethbridge, Alta.)
Alberta Two 3, Newfoundland and Labrador 0