Rush Canada Soccer Academy fired their way to a 4-2 victory in the Women’s U19 Fall Reserve Division final on Saturday at the Ontario Soccer Centre, handing North Toronto Nitros their first defeat in the competition.
The day's action had an eventful start as Sienna Di Blasio got things going for Rush after just three minutes, firing a cross from the left side back across goal and into the top corner.
North Toronto equalized from the boot of Cara Therrien three minutes after that, but Rush marched right back down the field after the kick-off, with Alyssa Stephenson finding the back of the net to restore the lead. A third Rush goal, coming in the ninth minute from their leading scorer Della Weir, capped an action-packed start of the match.
Things cooled off after that with Rush content to sit back and absorb pressure for the remainder of the first half, taking their 3-1 lead into half-time, frustrating the Nitros attack and denying them quality scoring chances.
The second period saw North Toronto come out flying. They manufactured a scoring chance in the first minute of the half and beat the Rush goalkeeper, only for the ball to be cleared off the line by a defender. That was the first of many dangerous chances for the Nitros soon after the interval, including a low ball played across goal by Alexus Worrell that just missed the foot of Kaia Rice at the back post.
North Toronto would finally convert in the 62nd minute. Nadya Gill slid in to block a goal-line clearance by a Rush defender, redirecting the ball into the net and bringing her side back within a goal.
She would very nearly score another in the 80th minute when a cross from the right wing bounced at the goal line by the back post. Gill threw herself at the ball and she landed in the goal, however the Rush goalkeeper Ashleigh Ramsay dove across to deny the ball from doing the same.
Weir scored in the 90th minute to bag her brace and strike a defeating blow to the Nitros’ comeback hopes.
Rush were the only team to blemish North Toronto’s otherwise perfect regular-season campaign, forcing a 2-2 tie in September, and finished second in the table 13 points behind the Nitros. But they came out on top in the Fall title decider.