TORONTO, Ont - Seeing two leads erased, the Fanshawe Falcons made the third lead stand to capture the 2018 OCAA belairdirect Women's Soccer Championship over the Humber Hawks 3-2 in overtime.
Looking for their first OCAA Championship since 2009, the Falcons opened the scoring in the 16th minute. OCAA Scoring Champion Jade Kovacevic received a pass twenty-five yards out from the goal, showed off a burst of speed to blow by the Humber defender before delivering a strike to the bottom right corner of the goal. The mark was Kovacevic's third of the championship.
Both teams generate great scoring opportunities prior to halftime, but goalkeepers Breanne Carreiro (Fanshawe) and Vanessa Fiore (Humber) were able to rise to the occasion.
With the physical play picking up and the tension mounting, the Hawks scored the equalizer in the 65th minute. A corner kick landed thirteen yards out at the front post. A flying header which saw the Hawks player twist in the hard crossed through a maze of players before finding Lily Campbell at the left post. The OCAA Central Rookie of the Year struck the ball with her left foot from twelve yards out to the short side of the goal to the elation of her teammates.
In the 82nd minute, the Falcons took a 2-1 lead when a shot from nearly forty yards out deflected off a Hawks defender, redirecting the shot just enough to evade Fiore who had no way of predicting the deflection.
On the final play of regulation time, the Hawks tied the game. Pressing for the equalizer, Claudia Piazza was taken down just inside the penalty area. On the penalty shot, Giulia Zanardi drove a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal to send the match to extra time.
In the 95th minute, the Falcons regained the lead for the third time. Kovacevic took control of the ball in the left corner of the Hawks end. The OCAA Player of the Year circled back and sent a high pass which landed eight yards out in front of the goal where Nicole Nielsen was in perfect position to head the ball into the goal.
The win was the seventh OCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the Falcons. The Hawks captured the silver medal for the third consecutive year.
Kovacevic was named Player of the Game for the Falcons while Zanardi took the honours for the Hawks.