NDC Ontario celebrate with the Women's League1 Ontario Championship trophy
It's tough to top NDC Ontario's energy. Throughout the season, they played at 100 percent for the full 90 minutes, and always seemed to have a bit of energy left in the tank after the final whistle for some laps around the pitch. At their peak they can run away with wins. And with the help of Nyah Rose's first-half brace, NDC ran away with the championship title after a 3-1 victory over Alliance United on Saturday evening at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan.
Despite missing players who are away representing Canada at the CONCACAF U-15 Championship in Florida and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, NDC Ontario battled hard and shut down an Alliance squad full of firepower, ending their seven-game winning streak on the last leg of the journey to lift the trophy.
NDC Ontario opened the scoring on the first shot of the game in the seventh minute. Kayla Briggs intercepted a long pass at the halfway line, heading it forward and controlling it all the way to the box while Alliance were caught flat footed. After a quick spin to protect the ball from the defender, Briggs pulled a pass back toward the top of the six-yard box, and Rose finished the cutback into the low far corner to open the scoring.
The lead didn't for long as Alliance United earned a corner kick less than a minute later. Kristin Parkes was left unmarked on the set piece, and the forward headed the ball toward goal to quickly even up the game.
NDC Ontario would get the eventual winner in the 15th minute when Renee Watson sent a ball down the left wing for Rosa Maalouf to chase. After shrugging off Valentina Greco on the defensive line, Maalouf had ample space and time to fire in a cross, giving Rose the simple tap-in to regain the lead for her team.
Alliance were denied any further shot attempts for the rest of the first half, and their goalkeeper, Gurleen Toor, stepped up to save another Rose shot from point-blank range, preventing a hat trick in the process and keeping her team's deficit to just one goal going into the half time interval.
Coming out of the break, Alliance made an interesting switch, shifting Laura Gosse from forward into the middle of their defence. The move paid off early in the period as she slid to make a last-ditch tackle to stop a Briggs chance. Some quick passes and combination play also freed goal-scoring machine Chelsea Cheung down the right, but the team were missing that final bit of flourish to equalize again.
Momentum was on Alliance's side, but Rosa Maalouf abruptly shifted it back to NDC Ontario in the 64th minute when she scored a screamer from the left wing, perfectly into the top corner and out of Toor's reach. Gosse switched back to forward as Alliance desperately tried to get back into the game, but the advantage stayed permanently on NDC Ontario's side as they wound down the clock to lift the trophy in their inaugural season.
On July 9th, Alliance United handed NDC Ontario their only loss of the regular-season campaign, with a 3-1 victory at Varsity Stadium. Now, NDC Ontario have exacted revenge with the same scoreline to be crowned League1 Ontario champions for 2022.
Despite falling just short in the final, Alliance United F.C. will represent League1 Ontario at the inaugural League1 Canada Women's Inter-Provincial Championship in Laval, Quebec from August 12 to 14. The bulk of the NDC Ontario side are committed to representing Ontario at the Canada Summer Games taking place in Niagara Falls.