NDC Ontario vs FC London
After starting the season with one win from four, NDC Ontario have been arguably the most consistent team at the top end of the table. They only dropped points against Simcoe County Rovers in June and fellow playoff competitors Alliance United in July.
They embark on their postseason journey on the back of scoring eight goals and conceding once in three games, and as the top-scoring team in the division with 62 goals – 11 more than any other team.
Meanwhile, FC London showed their own prowess in front of goal in the playoff quarterfinal. Julia Benati, Alexandra Hicks, Jennifer Milligan, and Taneil Gay were all on the scoresheet in the first half against Simcoe County Rovers.
FC London then had to ride a comeback by Simcoe who took the game from 4-1 to 4-3, but the League1 Ontario newcomers left too much to do late on.
Several NDC Ontario players have had their time in the limelight in the regular season; top scorer Amanda Allen has 10 goals to her name, followed by Alanna Raimondo with nine, Kayla Briggs with eight, and Renee Watson with seven.
They met FC London as recently as July 15, when Allen netted a brace that secured a crucial three points on the way to a top-two finish in the standings. The loss will still be fresh in the memory of FC London, which could prove advantageous if they are to hinder their opponent’s arsenal this time around.
Vaughan Azzurri vs Alliance United
Regular-season table-toppers Vaughan Azzurri head into the playoffs with a six-game winning streak, despite a combination of a determined Electric City and a lightning storm threatening to impact their spot at the perch last weekend.
The Azzurri only lost once in the regular season – against their semifinal opponents Alliance United – and tied three games. They have incredibly conceded just eight goals over the course of the campaign, boasting the division’s best defensive record.
Meanwhile, sixth seeds Alliance United will be buoyed after causing an upset in the playoff quarterfinals. Chelsea Cheung scored the only goal of the game, ending Woodbridge Strikers’ defence of their Women’s Premier Division crown.
That win mean’s Alliance have now tasted victory in six games on the bounce.
Alliance United’s quarterfinal hero Cheung was on the scoresheet when these two teams met in the regular season. Kalifornia Mitchell scored her first of six goals this campaign for the Azzurri, but Cheung equalised three minutes later before in-form striker Laura Gosse netted the eventual decider.
The Azzurri have their own fire power in top scorer Leah Pais has bagged 10 goals in 10 games in 2022, but Nia Fleming-Thompson and Jotam Chouhan have also chipped in with a combined total of 17 goals between them.