Burlington Bayhawks capture U-14 title on homefield
There’s no one who can describe what Burlington Bayhawks forward Lauren Raimondo can do on the soccer field better than her head coach, Dino Colarossi.
“She’s a natural striker and any opportunities she has around the net, there’s a good chance it’s going to be in the back of the net,” he said.
In the U-14 Cup final, Raimondo was the main catalyst for the Bayhawks, scoring both goals in the club’s 2:0 victory over the Halifax County United (NS), to capture a National Clubs Championships title for Burlington.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Colarossi said. “We had a lot of friends, family and club supporters here. It’s really special to win at home and it’s chance to celebrate with everybody.”
Burlington opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Vanessa Guglietti sent in Raimondo all alone and the forward chipped the ball past Halifax County goalkeeper Spencer Skinner into the left side of the net.
Raimondo got her second 14 minutes later, getting past a couple of defenders, before managing to deck out Skinner and fire it into the goal.
“She got to the ball first before both defenders and does what she does best and that’s score goals,” Colarossi said of the second marker.
Skinner did make some exceptional saves in the match, but Halifax County struggled to create scoring opportunities in the first half and did not register a shot on goal in the second.
“Our back line was very strong,” Raimondo said. “They knew exactly what to do. (Dino) kept telling us to keep the pressure on them and keep possession. We knew if we played our game, we would come out on top.”
United had a chance to take the lead in the early moments, when they were given an indirect free kick just outside the Bayhawks penalty area but couldn’t score on it.
“We get that, it changes the momentum.” Halifax County assistant coach Mike Malone said. “If we had scored that one, it would’ve got our confidence up. Who knows what could’ve happened but it would’ve made a difference obviously. “
Malone credited Burlington for being the better squad on the day.
“Their back four was great, their midfield was awesome,” he said. “They scored on their two chances and we just couldn’t generate anything consistently. They’re probably the best team we’ve played all year. We just ran into a brick wall. Our legs were tired and we couldn’t do anything with the ball. The girls gave everything they had.”
In the bronze medal match, Alberta’s SWU Premiers took third place after defeating Manitoba’s PTSC Fusion 4:1.