ProStars and North Mississauga played out an eight-goal thriller
Darby continue to impress
The first of four days of L1O action began on Thursday as Darby travelled to Hamilton United in the Men’s Premier Division. The visitors, who finished 13th in last year’s regular season, came into the match having won their first game in 2023 and collected three points once again.
Amir Shirazi opened the scoring for the hosts in the first half before a Christopher Badibengi double gave Darby the win and a temporary spot at the top of the division, setting a precedence early in the campaign.
A win for the champions
Friday night saw NDC Ontario pick up where they left off in the Women’s Premier Division by starting their title defence with a 3-0 victory against St Catharines Roma Wolves, despite several players being on international duty as Canada qualified for the Concacaf U20 Championship.
Two goals from Nikolina Istocki and one from Stephanie Schoeley gave the champions the three points; meanwhile, in the other Women’s Premier Division match on Friday, Emma Beaulieu shone for Tecumseh as they ran out 2-1 winners over Darby.
There were also two men’s matches on Friday with Alliance United taking on Guelph United and Woodbridge Strikers facing North Mississauga. Both games ended in a tie, the former finishing goalless with the Strikers and North Mississauga scoring a goal apiece.
Simcoe not holding back
Both Simcoe County Rovers teams registered big wins at the weekend; their first Women’s Premier Division game of 2023 saw them beat Guelph Union 5-1 and the men’s team were similarly dominant in scoring six goals against Master’s FA and now sit top of the table.
There were three other women’s matches on Saturday starting with FC London’s trip to BVB IA Waterloo. The visitors raced into an early lead, scoring three goals before half-time, but came under pressure after the break as BVB IA Waterloo fought back. The match was poised at 3-2 heading into the final five minutes of normal time with FC London managing to hold on for three points.
Elsewhere, Woodbridge Strikers and Alliance played out a thrilling 3-3 tie in a game that featured six different scorers and five second-half goals. Electric City’s trip to Hamilton United ended up being a goalless tie as both defences came out on top.
In the Men’s Premier Division, champions Vaughan Azzurri secured their first win of the season by beating Scrosoppi 2-0, with Omar Marzouk scoring another brace.
Sigma made it two wins from two this year as they put four past ProStars, an Emery Welshman hat-trick leading the way for the home side and Keegan Wilson managing a consolation goal for ProStars. Electric City also beat North Toronto Nitros 2-0 to bag their first win of the campaign.
Sunday was full of goals with 24 scored in six matches across both divisions.
Burlington’s men’s team made it back-to-back wins as they defeated Unionville Milliken, Yordan Stoyanov scoring in each half. 2022 runners-up Blue Devils cruised to their first three points of the season with a 4-0 win over Windsor City, and St Catharines Roma Wolves narrowly defeated FC London, who had a bye in Week One.
In our other matches on Sunday, North Mississauga played out an eight-goal thriller with ProStars in the Women’s Premier Division. ProStars raced into a 2-0 lead before the Panthers levelled going into half-time. The match was 3-3 with 15 minutes remaining and two late North Mississauga goals sealed it for the away side.
There were also plenty of goals in North Toronto Nitros' win over Burlington. The Nitros scored five in the first half without reply and are sitting at the top of the Women’s Premier Division after Week One.
The final game of the Women’s Premier Division opening weekend saw Vaughan Azzurri travel to Unionville Milliken. After a goalless first half the Azzurri kicked on, taking the lead through Nia Fleming-Thompson, before Isabel Guido sealed the three points in the 90th minute.