North Toronto Nitros opened the floodgates in the second half to a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Alliance United in the Women’s Reserve Division Final, completing an invincible season.
After winning the 2022 Fall Reserve Division, the Nitros swept the Central Division this summer with maximum regular-season points, culminating in another postseason trophy lift at the Ontario Soccer Centre on Thursday.
Alliance were no slouches on offence after scoring the most goals in the North East division this season, but they spent the first 36 minutes of the final pinned back in their own half as the Nitros dominated possession.
Alliance’s defence held strong until the thunder cracked, causing a lengthy weather delay and a venue change as the match moved indoors to shield from the storm. When the match restarted, North Toronto maintained their relentless attack and Ivymae Perez broke the deadlock in the 46th minute, tapping in a ball from a cross at point-blank range.
Alliance were kept on their toes as they battled to get back into the game, but one slip up proved costly as Cara Therrien picked a defender’s pocket 20 minutes later to double the lead.
Two minutes later in the 69th, Sarah Flood launched a shot from distance and an inadvertent bounce off Alya Ruken’s back left the goalkeeper flat footed and the score at increased to 3-0 to the Nitros.
North Toronto continued to generate chances down the right. Perez almost netted a brace on a spectacular bicycle kick, but the shot did not hit the target. However, the team kept trying from the same spot and Alexus Worrell finished a low cross at the far post to extend the lead to four.
Therrien capped off the match in the 90th minute, pouncing on a rebound to earn a second-half brace and a comfortable victory for North Toronto, and cementing themselves as invincible champions who have not lost in 2023.
Despite the loss, Alliance United have another chance for silverware in the Women’s Premier Division Final against NDC-Ontario on Saturday.