Jul 17, 2012- 10:35 AM
After clobbering Ajax FC 6-2 in the opening of a two-game home set, the Impact girls were deadlocked on Sunday in a scoreless tie with the Oshawa Kicks with less than ten minutes to play.
But after pressing for much of the second half, the locals were rewarded when Aymie Holota rushed onto a rebound from her own direct kick and absolutely nailed a shot from 35 yards out, netting the game's only goal.
Even more importantly, the win moved coach Dayna Corelli and company into first place in the Central Girls Soccer League eight-team loop, improving their record to 5-2-2. For Holota, who helped out her St. Charles College team by stepping in as netminder in the spring, the opportunity to find the back of the net is not all that frequent from her position as an interior defender.
"I'm feeling pretty good about it today, because I got the chance to score," she said.
In fact, her second-half tally helped offset a near-miss in the first half when Holota was called upon to take a penalty kick for the Impact.
"It hit her hand, then the sidebar, then it bounced on the goal-line, but nobody got to the rebound," Holota said.
Her goal, with just eight minutes to play, capped a second half in which Sudbury had come up just short on several glorious chances.
In the 48th minute, Brenna MacMillan sailed one of several well-place corner kicks, with Riley McEwen heading the ball just wide. Six minutes later, Mia Pandolfo was denied on a great save by the Oshawa keeper, tipping the ball just over the cross-bar.
As rain started falling late in the game, the Impact were unlucky once again. MacMillan slid a great pass across to McEwen, who lost her footing on the wet grass with the goal-line mere metres away.
Just over a minute later, Holota made up for the missed chances as Sudbury picked up six huge points, moving one ahead of the Kicks at 5-3-1. At 4-1-3, the Scarborough Blizzard sit in third, but hold the upper-hand, potentially finishing one point ahead of the northern Ontario crew.
While the core of the Impact team has been together for a few years now, newcomer Sophie Paradis has enjoyed a surprisingly impactful rookie season with the squad. Although she played with the Sudbury Canadians more than four years ago, Paradis had played within the Sudburnia system the past few years before returning to competitive out-of-town league play.
"I like the challenge," noted the attacker who just finished her first year at College Notre-Dame. "I wanted to get better at it, like I was before, and I have a couple of friends on the team already."
In part, Paradis credits some of the weekend success to an adjustment made by the coaching staff, creating room in a key part of the pitch.
"They wanted to clear up the middle, so we could play through there more often," Paradis explained. "My job was to create more width, stay wider."
Her natural aggressiveness is a natural fit for the team and works nicely up front with the likes of McEwen, MacMillan, Dana Isaia and Brianne Rodrigue.
With a 14-game regular season, the locals have five games remaining, four of which are at home. McEwen paced the attack on Saturday with a three-goal effort, with MacMillan scoring twice and Paradis closing things out.
Shemoya Hylton and Cory Egan replied in a losing cause for Ajax. Sudbury netminder Oliviah Hamilton registered the shutout on Sunday.
The Impact U15 girls are back in action next Saturday, battling the Aurora Stingers (2-4-1) at 2:00 p.m. at the James Jerome Sports Complex.
Posted by Mark Gentili