The Woolwich Wolf Pack U14 girls’ black team is just a pair of victories away from capturing a second straight Ontario Cup.
And this time, the title comes with a trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland to take on the nation’s best at the Canadian Soccer Association National Championships, October 7-12.
“The team is a year older and a year wiser,” manager John Tsilogianis said. “The team has a really special opportunity to qualify for the nationals this season, and really, that’s the pinnacle of what you play for. To be on the stage where you get to play teams from other provinces with a shot at being the best in Canada, that’s quite an honour.”
Coming off an extremely successful season in 2014 that saw the squad win numerous tournaments and capture its first Ontario Cup, the group – largely intact for the past five seasons – started off the 2015 campaign with an impressive performance in Orlando, Florida.
“We finished second at the Disney Presidents Day Soccer Festival in February,” Tsilogianis said, adding that the team lost in the finals to the eighth-ranked U14 girls’ team in the United States. “It was neat to play against teams from all over: New York, Indiana, everywhere in Florida. It was a great opportunity to see different types of soccer from different areas.”
They kept their momentum going back home, too.
In regular season Western Ontario Soccer League action, the team currently sits atop the leader board with seven wins, one loss and three draws. The club has a total of 44 goals for – including 14 from top scorer Alliyah Rowe – and just nine against. Goaltender Hannah Petrosino has posted five shutouts in league play so far, with three games remaining.
As for the keys to the team’s success, Tsiloginias says the answer is simple.
“The girls love the game. They deserve all of the success they have achieved, because they have worked hard for it. We do practice a lot. It’s two a day during the summer, in the morning and at night during the week so that they stay together and they stay fit; and they want to practice and work at it. That camaraderie they have built and that will to win has really shown itself again this season.”